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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cincinnati Public TV Station: A Taxpayer-Subsidized Version Of YouTUBE?

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A tiny story in today's Cincinnati Enquirer business section said the government-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting gave a $200,000 grant to its local public TV outlet to finance Web site development:

"Audio podcasts, personalized options and more video will be added to, the Cincinnati public TV station's Web site . . . Launched two years ago, the Web site offers more than 1,000 arts, educational, history, family and public affairs videos on demand. The federal funding will allow CET to redesign the Web site and let users customize their areas of interests, said Susan Howarth, CET president and CEO."

Is this really necessary -- a jazzed up public TV Web site -- when the country is going broke? YouTUBE and web clones are clogging the Internet with every imaginable kind of video -- including public TV programming. A PBS-style miniseries about Founding Father John Adams isn't even on PBS this week -- it's on a private cable channel. There are big media companies, cable and private broadcasters from all over the world, now operating Web portals packed with online content. Inquiring minds are wondering: Doesn't the government have more worthwhile things to spend its money on -- things like care for veterans, or fighting crime, or finding a cure for breast cancer, or alternative energy sources? Maybe it's time to end government subsidies to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where 44 percent of its $2.4 billion in total revenue comes from taxes.


  1. Well Bill, why don't you complain about the three trillion dollar quagmire? If we didn't depend on corporate controlled media we probably wouldn't be at war. One only needs to look at Bill Moyers "Buying th War" to see how the media sold us the war.

    The BBC is fully funded and does its people a great service. All we get over here is embedded reporting and stenographers for the war profiteers. NBC is owned by GE. Don't you think they have an interest in beating the drums for war?

    God forbid we have public funding for shows to educate our people.

  2. What happened to the Sweet Polly Pure Bread story? I wanted to know how she likes Frisch's Big Boy!

  3. Then spend the "public funding" on shows to educate our people. Don't duplicate Web sites, and don't use tax dollars to produce "news" shows. What makes a government subsidized newscast better than a privately financed newscast? Outside of snob appeal, I don't believe there is a strong case to be made these days for public broadcasting.

    As for Bill Moyers: Why is he even on PBS anymore? The airwaves are filled with opinion that is less tired, less boring, less predictable and more diverse. He's like the endless reruns of the Lawrence Welk Show. When I think about what passes for PBS fare, I don't see much that can't be found someplace else. If I want to see the BBC I can access it easily; and I do. Science -- Discovery Channel. History -- the History Channel. And so on. Public TV seems a leftover from another era. End the subsidy. If PBS wants to find sponsors and donors other than the taxpayers, great, I'm all for that. I have family members who would write them a check. But it is time to get off the government dole. The original idea was an educational alternative. But we are now in 2008 and technology has delivered alternatives that were undreamed of in the 1960s when public TV began tapping the federal budget.

    That said, I do think that purely educational broadcasts are worthwhile -- programming that is created for colleges and schools and aimed at those audiences.

  4. Again, you don't complain about the three trillion dollar war. It was corporate news that beat the drums for war which you would know if you watched Bill Moyers.

    The corporate media has an agenda and that is to sell us corporate propaganda disguised as news.

    That is why more and more
    Americans get their news from fake news sources like the Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They are more informed than people getting propaganda from from Fox and talk radio.

    People that watch PBS and listen to NPR are better informed than people who watch Fox and CNN studies show. I see nothing wrong with spending a small amount on shows and websites that inform the public.

    To suggest that youtube is the same as a PBS website is silly. And who knows if youtube will remain the way it is or not. We cannot and should not really on private partisan corporations to tell us what's happening in the world, why it's important and what we can do about it.

    We don't share the same interest. What's good for Exxon and GM isn't what's good for us.

    I'm always amused when people call it a "liberal" media. You're an example of how far to the right most reporters are. Not to mentin the editors. I bet you got it wrong on Iraq too.

  5. Bill Sloat: As for Bill Moyers: Why is he even on PBS anymore? The airwaves are filled with opinion that is less tired, less boring, less predictable and more diverse.

    While there are a variety of legitimate arguments to criticize public broadcasting and WCET, targeting Bill Moyers's "Now" isn't one of them.

    Mr. Sloat, since you claim there are other comparable news programs, would you please direct me to them?
    I'd love to find another source besides Frontline and C-SPAN that offers in-depth, lengthy critical
    reporting and points of view which dissent from "conventional wisdom."

    What set off this tirade, Bill? Did Moyers do a report raising questions about the veracity of stories about soldiers being spat on?

    The previous paragraph was only semi-facetious, Bill. My beef with your work is that it's mercurial. You usually do good work here, but then some personal prejudice knocks you off the rails. You have a bad habit of locating a personal itch and then using poorly-supported arguments to try to turn it into a broader conclusion.

    My prescription? Play to strength. Let your choice of stories reflect your opinion and toss in the wry comment here and there - you're very good at that. As for the broad brush, leave that to others who are better at it.

    Bill Moyers, for example.

  6. Blarney Rubble --

    Moyers has redeemed himself over the years by attacking Bush, corporations and others whom he deems as swindlers and knaves. There was a time, however, when he was Lyndon Johnson's advisor, an insider when LBJ began to expand the Vietnam War. Moyers' was the White House spokesman as Vietnam turned into a quaqmire. Many Americans no longer recall -- or don't know -- that Moyers' fingerprints are all over the "Daisy" ad of 1964 -- the notorious negative ad with the little girl, the flower and the mushroom cloud. That ad manufactured LBJ's campaign image as a peace candidate, as someone who would keep the nation from stumbling into war. There are many who think LBJ was the great deceiver; publicly for peace, but lying about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and preparing to escalate the Vietnam conflict. He is widely seen as a president who misled the American public. And Moyers was his mouthpiece and confidante. Was he a dupe?

    A few years after the 1964 election, people were in the streets protesting. "Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today." Moyers, as far as I recall, never joined them. But he has redeemed himself.

    Bill Moyers is a fine journalist, wonderful social critic and brilliant man. To some, he does not come off as a stuffy eggheaded intellectual. From what I hear, he knows how to read the ancient texts in Greek. Still, I don't believe it is wise national policy to spend tax money to put him -- or, for that matter, anyone else -- on television. I also don't think it is wise policy to spend tax money to build football stadiums for NFL teams. Sadly, my list of more pressing matters deserving of public subsidies is long, from A (curing AIDs) to Z (reconstituting the economy of Zanesville). But neither football stadiums nor public TV would be on the list. Obviously, not everyone agrees with me. Or, my dear Mr. Blarney Rubble, they just don't have the same itch.

  7. .

    Sloat your a real whack job on this one.

    What's the matter are you pissed about pounding the keyboard everyday and getting nothing !

    Well, I'm glad my tax dollars are going to PBS !


    To have PBS on the web:

    Well, now we can become educated while in free public hotspots (Panara) !

    PBS kids is Z-best !

    Our grand-girl was educated on PBS.

    Friday night PBS is Z-best political commentary !

    Even their fund raising concerts as some of the best in the world !

    Maybe, you should try to get a job at PBS and there may not be so many sour grapes !


  8. Bill Sloat: Many Americans no longer recall -- or don't know -- that Moyers' fingerprints are all over the "Daisy" ad of 1964

    Not sure what "fingerprints are all over" the ad means - please clarify.

    Also, please provide supporting documentation for your allegation after you explain what it is.

  9. You took down the Polly Campbell post? You're still a douchebag.

  10. You make a good case that America should pull out of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and redeploy those dollars where they can better serve the public good. Sure, there's nothing bad about Moyers, or GlobeTrekker, or Nature, or Antiques Roadshow, but are these really more important than curing AIDS? And if they're not, then why are we pouring public resources into entertainment at the expense of curing our countrymen?

    Spending from the public purse is no different than spending from a private one. There are an infinite number of available investments and they have to be funded by rank if we want the best return.

    I agree with many of the other commenters that we aren't getting a good return on the billions we're spending in Iraq. We would be much better off investing that bankroll in energy independence here at home.

    I also think it's awfully darned selfish of someone to demand other people's money for NPR instead of Cardiovasular research. Especially when alternatives to NPR abound, and heart disease kills 39% of all Americans, and much of it is preventable.

    We need to start holding our public institutions accountable for the dollars they spend. If they aren't leading, then they need to get out of the way, and turn their dollars over to someone who will.

    CPB certainly fits that description, so we need to eliminate their funding and put it to better use.

  11. Anon 6:29 pm --

    If I am a "douchebag" as you say, I suppose you are what a douche is meant to flush out of a woman's vagina. A disgusting micro-organism; an unpleasant odor; dead sperm; an offensive something or other that has to be cleansed or washed away. Sorry your fate is to circle the toilet and disappear into a sewage treatment plant.

  12. Mr. Sloat - If you've finished your discourse on feminine hygiene, please provide the requested information. If you cannot, please issue a retraction.


    Bill Sloat: Many Americans no longer recall -- or don't know -- that Moyers' fingerprints are all over the "Daisy" ad of 1964

    Not sure what "fingerprints are all over" the ad means - please clarify.

    Also, please provide supporting documentation for your allegation after you explain what it is.

    March 19, 2008 5:37 PM

  13. Hey Bill Sloat, speaking of the story in which you claimed to have been spit on in New Orleans, I some related questions.

    What were your dates of military service, in what branch did you serve, and where were you stationed? Any more details to confirm your service record would also be welcome.