Posts Tagged ‘PBS’

Trump ‘s Budget Cuts Funding for PBS and NEA. Liberal Propagandists Hardest Hit.

March 17, 2017

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President Donald Trump has released his Proposed Budget.

The screaming that you’re hearing is coming from melting Snowflakes.

Foxnews.com reports that

President Trump’s first budget blueprint is calling for the elimination of federal funding to a host of arts and humanities programs, as the new administration seeks to redirect taxpayer dollars to defense. 

The blueprint released by the White House “proposes to eliminate funding” for: the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which sends some money to PBS and National Public Radio.

Federal funding of arts programs, including money for public radio and television, has been the target of Republican administrations and congressional budget hawks for decades.

Mitt Romney said during his 2012 presidential campaign that the test of a program’s value was whether it was “so critical that it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it.” 

Supporters of public funding of the arts have fought out challenges for years, but this year could be different with Republicans controlling the budgetary levers at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

“The president finally got to the point where he said, ‘do I really want to make the coal miner in West Virginia, or the auto worker in Ohio, or the single mom in Detroit to pay for the National Endowment of the Arts or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting?’ And the answer is no,” White House budget Director Mike Mulvaney said Thursday during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

Public broadcasters and their supporters were quick to respond to Trump’s plans to fulfill a campaign promise to end federal financing of public media.

Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) cast the cuts in apocalyptic terms, saying they would “initially devastate” and “ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions – all for Americans in both rural and urban communities.”

Created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the CPB is the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online services. In 2016, the CPB received a $445 million slice of the federal government’s $4 trillion budgetary pie.

National Endowment of the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, an Obama administration holdover, told staff she was “disappointed” by the Trump administration budget blueprint, but added she looked forward to working with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “prepare information they have requested” and would “operate as usual” until cuts were actually made.  

She then noted that the NEA as a federal government agency is prohibited from engaging “in advocacy, either directly or indirectly” but would “continue our practice of educating about the NEA’s vital role in serving our nation’s communities.”

Established in 1965, the NEA’s primary mission is to provide grants to museums, symphony orchestras, as a means to “encourage individual and institutional development of the arts.”

The NEA also distributes funds to individual artists and to state arts agencies. In fiscal 2014 and 2015, NEA had a budget of $146,021,000, according to the NEA’s latest financial statement.

The NEA has long been a target of fiscal and social conservatives, whose opposition reached peak levels in the 1980s after several controversial artists and projects received federal funds.

The more controversial grants included one to artist Andrew Serrano who featured a photo of a crucifix submerged in a glass of his own urine. Another was given to Robert Mapplethorpe, whose NEA-supported exhibit in Cincinnati was cancelled because of protests of aspects of his art that showed explicit photos of sexual acts and S&M culture.  

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger argued the annual cost to Americans was insignificant but the payoff for children was huge.

“The cost of public broadcasting is small — only $1.35 per citizen per year — and the benefits are tangible: increasing school readiness for kids 2-8, support for teachers and homeschoolers, lifelong learning, public safety communications and civil discourse,” said Kerger in a statement.

The fact is both PBS and the NEA have become Political Tools.

PBS has been around for a long time.

Per discoverthenetworks.org,

An outgrowth of National Educational Television, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a nonprofit TV network composed of 354 stations in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. With financial support from large liberal philanthropies like the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Ford Foundation, and PBS was established in 1969 and commenced broadcasting in October 1970. Aiming “to create content that educates, informs and inspires,” the network’s programming, which consists predominantly of educational and artistic presentations, reaches almost 117 million people through television and nearly 20 million people online each month.

Notwithstanding the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967’s requirement for “strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs … of a controversial nature,” the content of PBS programming generally has reflected a liberal-to-left political slant ever since the network’s inception. As the Capital Research Center reports, “most PBS news programs are little more than left-wing agitprop”; PBS’s “flagship public-affairs series, Frontline, typically focuses on “corporate malfeasance” and “political intrigue”; the “human-interest stories on Independent Lens and P.O.V. are politically correct lamentations on social oppression or celebrations of ‘diversity’”; the science program Nova “frequently bemoans man’s destructive interference with nature”; and the series NOW, hosted by David Brancaccio, “is dedicated to blaming corporate America for every crisis and targeting politicians and big media for every cover-up.” Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center puts it this way: “The left maintains an iron grip on PBS.”

Bill Moyers, president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, was a prominent host and producer of various PBS programs from 1970 through his retirement in 2004. Toward the end of Moyers’ career, approximately 30 PBS affiliates stopped airing his partisan show NOW (which he hosted before David Brancaccio) during the network’s pledge drives, partly out of fear that the program’s unmistakable bias would alienate many potential donors. NOW had also become an ethical embarrassment because Moyers, without informing his audience, had used his taxpayer-subsidized show to promote guests from at least 16 leftist organizations that had received some $4.8 million in grants from the Schumann Center.

…PBS receives the bulk of its funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a nonprofit, private entity that was created by Congress in 1967 and whose annual budget is derived almost entirely from federal grants.

Another key PBS supporter is the PBS Foundation, which was established in 2004 “to seek, cultivate, and receive philanthropic gifts [for PBS] at the national level.”

Additional backers of PBS include the Adobe Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Newman’s Own Foundation, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the Orfalea Family Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Skoll Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

Why should average Americans fund television programming which espouses a singular minority political ideology?

The only time that most average Americans even watch PBS is when the good concerts and specials about old television programs that we grew up with come on during their “Beg-a-thons”.

Concerning the NEA,

Elizabeth Harrington, a writer for The Washington Free Beacon, posted an article titled “The National Endowment For The Arts Funds Political Propaganda”, in February of last year at TheFederalist.com. In it, she wrote that

The president appoints the chairman of the NEA, who then chooses field directors who hold two-year appointments. While some appointees may stay for just two years, others remain at the agency for much longer. For instance, Douglas Sonntag, who is the dance director, has been with the NEA since 1997.Who approves the individual grants is a different story. The first round of this fiscal year’s grants were awarded to 1,126 different individuals and organizations across the country.

The simplest answer is that people in the art world tend to lean to the left on the political spectrum.
The sheer number of grants, and number of panelists who approve them—237 for the latest round—make it likely that political projects slip through the cracks. The projects the panelists choose then go through the National Council of the Arts, the NEA’s advisory body, which makes recommendations for what should get funding. But ultimately, the decision for every single award lies in the hands of the chairman, the NEA says.

The simplest answer is that people in the art world tend to lean to the left on the political spectrum, making them more likely to select projects that align with their worldview. Furthermore, liberals do not tend to see their issues as political: climate change is settled science, “there are not two sides” to the debate over same-sex marriage, etc.

Perhaps past NEA appointees who tended to be more conservative were too afraid to deny grants for promoting a liberal agenda. The solution is for the next Republican chairman to fund the premiere of a traveling musical that preaches to its audience that climate change is a hoax to enrich the likes of Al Gore.

To follow up on a previous question, why should average Americans be forced to fund “art” projects which espouse a singular minority political ideology and while doing so demean the Faith of 75% of our nation’s population?

For example…

Back in September of 2012, Todd Starnes of Fox News reported that

“Piss Christ,” once branded as a “deplorable, despicable display of vulgarity,” will be displayed at the Edward Tyler Nahem Gallery in Manhattan on Thursday. The artwork features a “photograph of the crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine.”

The artwork debuted in 1989 and was funded through prize money provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The art gallery hosting the retrospective salute to Andres Serrano is privately owned.

“Diversity” is one thing. Insanity is another thing, completely.

I love music. I love the arts. I despise anti-American Far Left Political Propaganda being force-fed to America’s children and grandchildren in the name of “the arts”.

If you think that smearing elephant dung all over a painting of the Virgin Mary is “art”…there is something seriously wrong with you and I refuse to fund your psychosis.

At this point in our nation’s history, the rebuilding of our Armed Forces and the safety of our nation takes funding precedence over the funding of documentaries about how awful America is and funding some under-achiever who thinks that dropping a crucifix in a jar of urine is “art”.

There are plenty of Liberal Organizations out there who will fund them.

Americans should not be forced to with our Tax Dollars.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

Obama Campaign’s Bird-Brained Idea Backfires

October 10, 2012

…and the feathers are flying.

First, let’s hear from the rather large fowl in question:

Big Bird, it seems, isn’t thrilled about his cameo in the presidential race.

The folks at Sesame Street are asking the Obama campaign to pull down a TV ad released Tuesday that mocks Mitt Romney for vowing to yank the subsidy to PBS.

At the presidential debate in Denver last week, Mr. Romney said he would end the subsidy in view of the nation’s fiscal troubles.

“I love Big Bird,” the Republican challenger said “… But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

Up went an ad by team Obama called “Big Bird’’ that suggests Mr. Romney is targeting children’s programming rather than legitimate threats to people’s economic interests.

The ad shows images of Bernie Madoff and others implicated in various financial and corporate scandals. A narrator then intones: “And the evil genius who towered over them?”

A silhouette of Big Bird flashes on screen.

“Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” the narrator said.

The ad is airing on national cable and broadcast TV, in time slots devoted to comedy shows, the Obama campaign said.

Sesame Street isn’t amused. Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization that produces and owns the show, issued a statement Tuesday saying “we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

A blog post on the Sesame Workshop website said that “Sesame Street would not exist were it not for PBS and its local stations, which is the distribution system for Big Bird and friends to reach all children across the United States, particularly the low income children who need us most.”

Of course, everyone has an opinion on this issue. No one wants to be seen as being chicken:

From Obama for America: 

Big. Yellow. Loved by kids everywhere. And only one candidate has the courage to go after him. Today, Obama for America is out with a new TV spot because, while President Obama passed historic Wall Street reform to hold big banks accountable and give consumers tools to make informed decisions for themselves, his opponent, Mitt Romney, has shown true conviction by vowing to take down Big Bird and keep Sesame Street under control.

From Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein:

Watching the “Big Bird” ad… I couldn’t help but think back to this part of Obama’s February 2007 speech in Springfield, Ill. when he launched his first campaign for president: “What’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What’s stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics — the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.”

And Chuck Todd notes on MSNBC:

Serious question though: We’re six days later. The Obama campaign, on their own, seems to be looking back at the debate, not yet figuring out how to turn the page from the debate. Maybe it’s understandable given what we’re seeing given the bounce in the polls, and that it’s part of the entire campaign conversation. But of course they’re the ones running these look-back-at-the-debate ads. And you have to ask yourself, every time they bring up the debate, is that good for Obama or is that good for Romney?

Finally, the Republican Candidate, himself, got in a zinger yesterday:

Mitt Romney, speaking to a crowd of about 1,200 on a farm here in Van Meter, Iowa, criticized President Obama’s recent focus on Big Bird on the campaign trail.

“You have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird,” he said. “I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs.”

But, Mitt…Obama can’t explain how his domestic policies have brought us to this point. That would be claiming responsibility for his own mistakes. Didn’t you know…after 4 years…it’s still Booooosh’s fault?

Anyway, kiddies, don’t feel sorry for the Bird. He aint exactly hurtin’ for money:

The 2011 IRS 990 form for Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children’s Television Workshop), the producers of Sesame Street, revealed that they received $7,968,918 in government grants last year. That sounds like a hefty amount, but the 990 also revealed that Sesame Workshop received $44,984,003 in royalties last year, which includes sales of Sesame Street brand merchandise like “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls. That means Big Bird made five times in merchandise sales than what he received in government grants.

An even closer look at Sesame Workshop’s finances shows the government funding Romney wants to cut is only a small part of their budget and may not be necessary at all. In 2011, Sesame Workshop received $31,555,192 in grants and donations last year apart from the U.S. government. They also raised over $2 million in additional funds from various fundraising events. In all, Sesame Workshop raised almost $34 million in private funds for Sesame Street, aside from government grants.

In addition, Sesame Workshop brought in almost $30 million in revenue from content distribution and media production. In total, Sesame Workshop brought in over $122 million in revenue, not including government grants. On their website, Sesame Workshop claims corporate, foundation, and government support make up 35% of their budget. Realistically, however, government funding only accounts for just over 6% of their budget.

Sesame Workshop has faced drops in revenue in recent years and seems to have weathered it. Recent tax returns reveal a drop of 3% to 5% in budgets in recent years, so a loss of government funding would certainly not mean the end of Big Bird. In 2009, they laid off 20% of their workforce in a cost-cutting move, and still survived. However, salaries still make up a large part of their budget. In 2011, they paid out over $54 million in salaries, a high percentage of their budget for a non-profit.

And, if he needs to, he can always do commercials.

Big Bird: Future Spokesperson for Church’s Fried Chicken.