The Republicans' "Ideological Putsch" Against PBS
The Times' pro-PBS crusade continues in a Wednesday editorial accusing "spiteful" Republicans of (as the headline reads) "Squelching Public Broadcasting."
"Do little boys and girls out there know how to spell 'spite'? For those who don't, the House Republicans who voted last week to gut federal support of public broadcasting - from 'Sesame Street' to well beyond - are offering a graphic demonstration as they attack one of the nation's more valued institutions."
Reality Check: As Times reporter Stephen Labaton admits deep inside a pro-PBS article June 10, "Gary E. Knell, the president of Sesame Workshopsaid the Ready to Learn program had contributed relatively modest amounts to the workshop and that most of the money for those shows comes from license revenue for the products sold by the workshop and money from stations."
Then there's this laugh line about the "proven indispensability of public broadcasting" in a world of several hundred cable channels, the Internet, and talk radio: "A decade ago, Newt Gingrich tried a similar stratagem to 'zero out' public broadcasting as Republicans claimed there was liberal bias in programming. The attempt failed in the face of cooler legislative heads and the proven indispensability of public broadcasting."
After admitting that federal money makes up a mere 15 percent of public broadcasting's budget, the editors warn "the public's faith and donations could be threatened if audiences sense the Republicans are succeeding with an ideological putsch."
The use of the ideologically weighted term "putsch" (as in Hitler's 1923 Munich Beer Hall Putsch) shows how the very idea of cutting PBS spending reliably sends the Times editorial page into ideological frenzy.
It ends with another dose of "spite," warning that remote areas like Alaska may "fade from the air unless the Senate blocks the House's spiteful cuts."
For the full editorial on the "indispensable" PBS, click here: