March 3, 2005

Kill PBS Funding!

George Will writes an awesome column about PBS. It's a relic of the Johnson Administration, like an appendix it wavers between being irreverent and troublesome, but Will agrees with me that it is totally superfluous.

In 1967 public television did at least increase, for many, the basic television choices from three CBS, NBC, ABC to four. Not that achieving some supposedly essential minimum was, or is, the government's business. In today's 500-channel environment, public television is a preposterous relic.

Not too long ago the Public Broadcasting Service tried an amazingly obtuse and arrogant slogan: "If PBS doesn't do it, who will?" What was the antecedent of the pronoun "it"? Presumably "culture" or "seriousness" or "relevance." Or something. But in a television universe that includes the History Channel, Biography, A&E, Bravo, National Geographic, Disney, TNT, BBC America, Animal Planet, the Learning Channel, the Outdoor Channel, Noggin, Nickelodeon, and scads of other cultural and information channels, what is the antecedent?

Best of all, a proposal for killing it will generate another decade of left-wing spam to "write your congressman to keep big bird on the air!"

Will ends his piece asking "Would it vanish without the 15 percent of its revenue it gets from government? Let's find out."

Media and Blogging Posted by John Kranz at March 3, 2005 12:15 PM