Friday, June 17, 2005

Save the Corporation for Public Broadcasting!

Perhaps the House was just in a budget cutting mood yesterday.

The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill yesterday that would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by $100 million -- 25 percent -- starting this October.

The original bill, written by Ralph Regula (R-OH), would have eliminated funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 2008, but a Democratic amendment earmarked $400 million so that public broadcasting could use the money in the future.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides federal funds to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR). For those who have been stranded on a desert island for the last 30 years, PBS has brought Americans such shows as Mr. Rodgers, Sesame Street, and Reading Rainbow, as well as some high quality documentaries, and NPR offers radio listeners a thoughtful alternative to the shock jocks and political hacks filling up the rest of the radio spectrum.

Democrats and PBS representatives have said that the 25% cut would be "disastrous" for American public broadcasting. Smaller public television and radio stations rely more heavily on federal funds and so they would feel the cut most, despite covering areas with fewer broadcast alternatives. Children's programming would also feel the cut more heavily, because children tend not to participate in fund-raising drives.

This bill still must be passed by the full House and Senate. Commercial-free children's programming is worth it; write your Congressperson now!

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