Seven Days reader Sheldon Katz:
A related problem is the elitism of VPT and VPR. A politically selected few, who presume to know best how to allocate our news and information spending, choose programming and stick the rest of us with the cost of production and broadcasting. For the most part, VPT and VPR programming is aimed at an upper-income, highly educated audience. Such a subsidy from the working class to the rich, is indefensible. (Letters, April 10, 2002.) More recently, Laura Breuckner expresses concern with VPT's bias favoring incumbents (Letters, May 1, 2002) and urges voter action. The situation is not as bad as Mr. Katz and Ms. Breuckner say; it is much worse, unfortunately. The public begging episodes public broadcasting conducts periodically are not primarily for raising funds; they are to win the audience's confidence that public broadcasting serves the public interest and is thus worthy of public support. They show little old ladies manning phone banks and begging for donations and support like so many corrupt politicians. I personally knew a 92-year old little lady who sincerely believed that if she did not mail in her $5 or $10 in cash promptly, it would be the end of all classical music and credible news on the air. As increasing numbers of Americans have come to realize, public broadcasting is just another mainstream medium supporting the government line and never provides "equal time" to Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein or Hugo Chavez.
U.S. regime operatives are of course long term grand masters of media spinning and public opinion manipulation earned by broadcasting Radio Free Europe and similar propaganda and disinformation. This is not to say that "the enemy" did not use Tokyo Rose and other disinformers. But there is a difference between those wartime and cold war time broadcasts and today's con game: people can stop cold paying into the periodic fund drives. That would not be the end of the con game, of course: in 2003, Congress has budgeted $365-million for the Public Broadcasting Corporation, a cool $1-million per day, and the U.S. regime would pay whatever it takes to keep the con going because to the regime it is priceless and the unrich would still be stuck with the tax tab for the "public" propaganda to please the Cubans in Florida and thus help reelect the Bush brothers.
On 12-7-02, a fundraising ad said they pay $22,000 per hour for "Car Talk," which I assume is their costliest production. If so, a disk jockey can spin CDs for a mere $10,000 per hour. That comes to $240,000 a day if they are on 24 hours a day. The other $760,000 a day is probably used for public TV. My question is: where is all the money from public fund raising and bequests? Why feed at the public trough and then beg on fund raising campaigns? If I am elected, I would introduce a bill canceling all federal subsidies to Public Broadcasting if they do not stop their U.S. regime propaganda and truly serve the public interest exclusively.