ABC News Frets Over PBS Cuts: 'Big Bird on the Chopping Block?'
Published: 2/15/2011 12:15 PM ET
The ABCNews.com website on Tuesday used the Sesame Street character Big Bird to worry about potential Republican cuts to PBS. Next to a picture of the forlorn puppet and some concerned children, a graphic alerted, "Big Bird on the Chopping Block?"
The article, by Huma Khan, discussed the efforts by the House GOP to cut of funding to PBS, but didn't feature a single quote from any such Republican.
Yet, the reporter made sure to highlight fears by NPR's Vivian Schiller: "[Cuts would] would diminish stations' ability to bring high-quality local, national and international news to their communities, as well as local arts, music and cultural programming that other media don't present."
PBS President Paula Kerger implored, "It's America's children who will feel the greatest loss, especially those who can't attend preschool." Khan did allow, "This is not the first attempt by Congress to cut funding for what many Republicans see as liberal-leaning broadcast operations."
Later in the piece, however, Khan attempted to dismiss concerns of a liberal bias:
While NPR has long been eyed as Republicans as liberal leaning, its audience base is diverse. Forty-five percent of its audience identify themselves as moderate, while 29 percent identify as liberal and 22 percent as Republicans, according to a Pew Research Center poll released in September. But most of its audience may be more sympathetic toward Democrats than other broadcast outlets.
- Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.