Some Non-Partisan Discussion Points Against The Defunding of PBS

Hi, everyone. I'm very interested in the debate over PBS and any threat  to defund it no matter how serious always gets my attention. I think Mitt Romney's threat to defund PBS speaks for a lot of people angry about government spending, yet these people don't seem to see the value of a PBS. I have seen 2 questions today that deserve, and actually have quite reasonable answers. But, these questions are political stances masked in inquiry. I don't believe that the people that ask these question's about PBS are intending to elicit a response, but to stir the discontent of this nation's ignorance. Let me get to the questions.

         1.  "Can you show me in the constitution where the government is required to fund any television programs? Please, i would love to know where that law is, because ive been looking, and it doesnt seem to exist." (Copied and Pasted)


         2. " sesame street merchandise brings in over $500 m /year, do they really need another 6 from the tax rolls?"(Copied and pasted) This question basically asks "If PBS does so well why do they need taxpayer funding.


1. The powers of Congress are enumerated in Article I, Section. 8. of The Constitution. Giving Congress the power to tax, and make law and policy. Which Congress used to design The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (47 U.S.C. § 396). I'm not going to list the act here, because you can easily read it yourself. Congress finds that Public Broadcasting of educational, instructional, and cultural  material is in the interest of the people and that it will be responsive to the interest of the people. That last part is important for the second question.

2. Why does PBS need to be publicly funded? In order to keep it responsive to the interest of the public which is instructional, educational and cultural. That small amount of taxpayer funding is to ensure that PBS is held to a higher standard than other broadcasters, whose main goal is base entertainment.

I welcome comments or other questions about PBS including disagreement.  

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I think you’ve got it pretty well covered Michael.


If the only information we got was “Brought to you by Exxon” or G.E. or the Koch brothers, or Rupert Murdoch, then what would be the measure of veracity?

If, for no other reason, PBS, not being beholden to profit, or the promotion of corporate interests or the corporate vision of reality, at least offers the potential for an independent view unencumbered by the profit motive, or partisan propaganda should a political party gain control of media outlets.

I think that was part of the thinking when Congress established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Got enough money?  Buy up the media, and you can limit the population’s access to information.  As it is now, a handful of corporations own something like 80% of all media . . . including publishing, movies, newspapers, and electronic.

Lots of American values are not expressed in our Constitution.  A trial by a jury of our peers is not in the Constitution either, yet we cherish that judicial quality.

Owning a semiautomatic AR-15 with a high capacity clip is not mentioned either, yet the 2nd Amendment is constantly used to specifically justify its possession.


I haven’t heard $500 million, but remember, Sesame Street is just a copyright, and  products granted permission to use Sesame Street’s copy written images are produced by privately held corporations who profit from the sale of those products, while Sesame Street benefits only from compensation through contractual agreements.  If you look at it a different way, those who produce Sesame Street merchandise benefit vastly from a creation of Public Television.  Sesame Street Inc. does not produce Sesame Street lunch boxes.  The bulk of that $500 million goes into the pockets of the private sector, receiving a windfall from a taxpayer supported project.  

Here is a suggestion:  jerk all permission to use Sesame Street images to sell merchandise, and watch the private sector howl.


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