President's Budget-Cutting Panel Proposes Cutting CPB Funding
November 11, 2010 at 3:59 AM (PT)
The panel convened by President OBAMA to make recommendations on the federal budget has recommended cutting funding to the CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING to zero. The bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility proposed the $500 million cut for CPB in a draft of its proposals to cut the federal budget released WEDNESDAY. The proposal also would end two other "duplicative" public broadcasting funding programs, the Public Telecom Facilities Grant Program and the USDA’s Public Broadcasting Grants program. CPB was among several entities looking at severe budget cuts in the plan, which would also raise taxes by making cuts in common tax deductions.
The CPB issued a statement objecting to the cuts, asserting, "From a yearly federal investment amounting to $1.35 per American, public broadcasting returns six times that amount in programming and services, creating 17,000 jobs in the American economy. This important investment, through CPB and the other public broadcasting programs, should be supported for the benefit, education and enrichment of all Americans."
Liberal media watchdog FREE PRESS issued a statement from Pres. JOSH SILVER decrying the proposal, saying, "Foreclosing on SESAME STREET is not the answer to reducing our national deficit. It is inconceivable at a time when commercial news is dominated by five-second soundbytes, yelling pundits and little actual journalism, that this commission would consider eliminating funding to one of the few remaining sources of enterprise journalism and educational programming. PBS and NPR are the most trusted media brands in AMERICA -- and clearly the benefits of noncommercial media warrant more public investment, not less.
"The U.S. already has among the lowest funded public media systems in the developed world, at just $1.43 per capita. But the low levels of funding are made worse by a flawed annual appropriations process that leaves public media timid and at the mercy of fickle politicians. It's far past time for the creation of a public media trust fund that can protect programmers from undue political pressure and financial uncertainty, and can support the production of more high-quality noncommercial news, and educational and cultural programming."