Saturday, June 11, 2005

Can You Tell Me How To Get . . .

how to get to Sesame Street? Sesame Street is great, a staple of my childhood. I'm skeptical that Sesame Street will wither up and blow away if less tax payer dollars go to NPR and PBS. My kids have Sesame Street toys, puzzles, clothes and dishes. Elmo videos are stacked next to Nick Jr. and Disney offerings - heck we "Elmocize" three times a week. Somehow I don't think Sesame Street is scraping by. What will happen if the cuts to public broadcasting actually happen? Mmmm, perhaps they will have to have competitive programming. Worthy programs like Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street could find homes on ABC, Nickelodian, Disney channel or anyone else who'd love to add them to their stable. I bet Disney executives would wet their pants to control rights to Big Bird and Winnie-the-Pooh. We'd see Grover on the big screen.

As for "commercial free" have you seen the sponser blurbs now on PBS? Not just a high toned voice saying, "brought to you by a grant from Scrooge and Marley's Business Innovations and The Catherine T. Moneybags Foundation." No no, it's full on Clownheads advertising burger joints or cold cereal. Elmo is brought to you by Happi-os Cereal. So the kids want to purchase happi-os because it is kind enough to provide Elmo a little air-time. I don't begrudge the companies thier commercial, but I think it's self deceptive of public stations to bill themselves as commercial free just because thier commercials are all at the top or bottom of the hour instead of sprinkled through.

Public broadcasting is Government Pork pure and simple. I hope that Congress has enough spine to close thier ears to the squeals of public broadcasting lobbyists as the pork gets carved from the budget.

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