Sunday, June 26, 2005

Giving Big Bird the Bird

Go read Frank Rich’s column today. I know I say that every Sunday, but just do it, okay?

As the public broadcasting debate plays out, there will be the usual talk about how to wean it from federal subsidy and the usual complaints (which I share) about the redundancy, commerciality and declining quality of some PBS programming in a cable universe. But once Big Bird, like that White House Thanksgiving turkey, is again ritualistically saved from the chopping block and the Senate restores more of the House’s budget cuts, the most crucial test of the damage will be what survives of public broadcasting’s irreplaceable journalistic offerings.

One of the biggest hypocrises of the right has been the whining about so-called subsidy of “left-wing” broadcasting by tax dollars. As opposed to the tax breaks and tax cuts that Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes (the bad one, not the good blogger) get by being rich and the proprietors of FOX?