PBS Follow Up
A week or so ago, I posted a short piece about the new PBS president. Now, after the government had decided to reduce funding for Public Broadcasting, they've decided to back up and reinstate the money. Jonah Goldberg has an interesting column on PBS.
The liberal-conservative thing, however, is a sideshow. Public television
was created to help poor people, educate young people, and to promote diversity
on TV. Today, the average PBS viewer is in his late 50s. Somewhere around
two-thirds of the poor have cable or satellite TV. Even more have DVD or VCR
players. When PBS was created in 1967, it increased the number of television
stations by 25 percent. Today PBS stations constitute a rounding error among the
choices available to most consumers.
More relevant, with the obvious
exception of “Sesame Street,” the target audience for PBS isn’t remotely the
poor. It’s the well-to-do. Yes, some poor folks enjoy symphonies and entire
shows dedicated to shiitake mushrooms and fennel. I have no doubt that there’s
some lunch bucket Joe who races home after clearing roadkill all day just to
catch “Washington Week in Review.” But, come on, who’re we kidding?
that’s the great irony of the restored PBS budget cuts. Because budget rules
said the money had to come from somewhere, Congress raided social programs for
the poor to give Big Bird back his $100 million.
Jonah has some interesting stuff. It appears to Ol' BC the PBS market may have shifted somewhat. That may account in some way for the new president that so upsets the liberals.
Just a thought.