Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Governor Shooting at Public Broadcasting Again

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting (here) that Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell (above) will propose eliminating state funding of public broadcasting in the next budget session. One or two Republican House members bring this up in every session of the General Assembly, citing bias in NPR and PBS news, which simply doesn't exist, but I don't remember a governor proposing it before last year. Usually it dies in the Senate.

This is one of those areas where I feel certain a few of us have a direct vote in the decision here, if you're in the district where voters are trying to replace right-wing idealogue Morgan Griffith. My guess is Republican Gregg Habeeb would enthusiastically support McDonnell and Democratic challenger Ginger Mumpower would vote for public broadcasting.

In 2010's session, McDonnell wanted to cut nearly $600,000 and this year, he wants to trim $2 million in 2012 and $4 million in 2013. All the while, he says, ""Public broadcasting is a wonderful resource, providing quality programming that is cherished by many. However, in our modern media world there are thousands upon thousands of content providers operating in the free market. Simply put, it doesn’t make sense to have some stations with the competitive advantage of being funded by taxpayer dollars.”

The first sentence of that statement is blowing smoke up our collective asses. The second part is right wing dogma and an attempt to silence one of the few impartial voices in our culture.

One of the ironies of the new calls, especially nationally, to eliminate funding for public broadcasting is that Fox News is one of the prime motivators, hopping on the Juan Williams dustup--and hiring the not-so-liberal newsman after his faux pas recently. He was severely criticised by public broadcasting and fired because of what it considered racist statements. My take is that NPR was wrong to fire Williams, he was wrong to equate murder with all Muslims and Fox News is always wrong about everything.

Virginia Republican Eric Cantor is leading the Republican charge against public broadcasting in the U.S. House.

McDonnell is proposing a number of budgetary adjustments, moving money around in programs and he is looking at adding $500,000 to Virginia Federation of Food Banks, the one idea in the whole bunch that rings of sensitivity to those with little.



  1. PBS gets about2% of its funding from government sources, while Gov. McDonnell draws a full paycheck from the commonwealth. Doing a cost/benefit analysis, I can think of a much better way to cut costs.

  2. Bob if Public Broadcasting is for the public than why do they lean Left?

    Why are most of the people that support them, liberal left leaning like you self?

    These are not critical opinions, but observations of the facts.

    Please clarify

  3. In what way does Public Radio "lean left"? What are the "facts" you are observing?

    Just stating that something is a fact does not make it so.

    Please clarify.

  4. Would you guys please use your names when talking here. We are not cowards, so let's be open with who we are.