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 www.CETconnect.org, 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.