Thursday, September 29, 2005

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Take-over

It's near the end of the world as we know it. Rightwing lunatics are taking over the airwaves, and only a small but dedicted cadre of smart people can save us. Our heroes!

The world needs these clear thinking non-partisan intellectuals to set the world right again. Otherwise we're all doomed to be enslaved and murdered by Right-wing fundamentalist Christian war mongers and real estate developers. If you care about the world you live in and the starving orphans of Africa, please send money to me so I can change the world for the better. I'll provide love beads and bell bottom pants to all the capitalists so they can see what it's like to live like poor people. Wow, man. The Christian fundamentalists Nazis in the White House and the Republican Party are killing everybody for profit. Who wrote the editorial below? We don't know, and it doesn't matter cause that'd be just more capitalist private property stuff, and the writer/publisher didn't put a name to it. But it's news. News to me.

The radical-right-wing takeover of America continues. The latest successful target: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

CPB has two jobs. It distributes $400 million worth of taxpayers' money to National Public Radio and the television-oriented Public Broadcasting Service. And it is supposed to insulate these two nonprofit outfits from political interference.

With the election of Cheryl Halpern, a Republican fundraiser and New Jersey real-estate developer, as chairwoman, the CPB ceases to be a nonpartisan buffer and becomes a totally controlled arm of the Bush administration, which favors corporate interests over the citizenry, plunders the environment, co-opts the federal court system, subverts civil liberties, promotes Christian fundamentalism, and is waging an ill-conceived war in Iraq.

Reacting with concern to this latest development in the ongoing hijacking of public broadcasting, the Center for Digital Democracy called for two steps of essential reform: "No activist from either political party should be nominated to the board. Nor should anyone be permitted to serve simultaneously on another government-funded entity."

These measures would keep political hacks from screwing with public broadcasting, which for all its faults � is still a beacon of diversity compared with the corporate interests that monopolize so much of what�s available over the public airwaves, which belong to the American people.

When the current system of public broadcasting was established in 1967, the commission that laid its foundation said that the CPB board should be made up of "distinguished and public-spirited citizens" dedicated to creating an institution "of great significance to American society."

Shortly after that, a war-mongering president who was also an enemy of the constitution, Richard Nixon, sought to bend the public-broadcasting system to suit his own narrow purposes. The damage Nixon sought to inflict was stopped. Bush, however, is much better entrenched. If the work of his cronies is not undone, the nation will have to start thinking about how public broadcasting, a jewel in the dented and tarnished crown of national culture, can survive without public subsidy. That is if it can survive at all.

Do we laugh or cry? It's not obvious that the writer above is a teenager living in his mother's basement. He/she might well be a highly paid journalist with a corner office off the Commons. Maybe, and it's possible, this idiot works for the CIA. Maybe he's a grad. student at Harvard. Anything's possible. Tears run down my cheeks.

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