February 17, 2011

Save NPR and PBS! ~David Telfer McConaghay

((click the tote-bag to sign the petition!))

Photo: CredoAction.com

In the very first budget proposal put forth by this 112th Congress, there is (at least) one glaring attempt to undermine freedom of the press and the factual dissemination of news in these United States.

House Republicans announced plans to zero out all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the nonprofit responsible for funding public media including NPR, PBS, Pacifica and more.”

This is entirely unacceptable. Since 1970, NPR and PBS have provided information on current events around the world in a wide variety of formats. Their reputation for excellent, honest reporting has gone untarnished by the interests any commercial investors because of “the support of viewers/listeners like you,” in addition to a minimal amount of indirect federal funding.

This is not the first time Republicans have gone after what is one of the last bastions of large-scale independent media in this country. In 2005, the House Appropriations Committee drastically cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is in fact a “tax-payer funded, non-profit, private corporation created by Congress in 1967.”

In the Fall of 2010, well-known, post-literate cultural-theorist Sarah Palin demanded that it was “time for National Public Radio to become National Private Radio. It’s time for Congress to defund this organization.”

In a rare slip, Palin seemed to think that NPR is funded by Congress; in fact, NPR “competes for grants with other organizations from a few government-funded organizations, like the NEA and CPB, but these make up only 1 percent of its funding.”

However, the issue is urgent once again with this fresh Congressional assault against the CPB budget. As They say, cut off the head (CPB) and the body (public media) will die.

Personally, NPR is my primary source of radio news and entertainment. Whether it’s CPR bringing me breaking news here in Colorado, or good old Minnesota Public Radio streaming The News From Lake Wobegon through my iTunes, I constantly rely on NPR programming to present the facts, and to provide a venue where the prime actors are able to speak for themselves. This is not to mention the BBC News Service, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” and “CarTalk.”
Indeed, NPR has helped me transcend the profound fear that I will become just like my parents (not so bad after all), and allowed me to understand that it is both cool and crucial to know what is going on in the world — far beyond what televised left/right zealots will tell you (not to think).

So be grateful! It’s not too late!

You can still Sign the Petition!
or Call your Congressional Representative!
and Demand that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting be fully funded!

We the People cannot afford to lose this vital news source! I dare say that what is left of our ‘democracy’ depends on it. This is not just another dull fund-raising drive; this is a fight for the very survival of independent media.

I implore you to take action! Now!

Unless of course, you trust News Corporation (has there ever been a name more Orwellian?) and ClearChannel to frame the narrative of your life; in which case, grab me a Belgian-owned, GMO-laden ‘American’ beer and pass the guacamole, [We Worship False] Idol‘s on next…


David Telfer McConaghay was born on planet Earth. Since that fateful first day of Spring in ’86, he has wandered across its surface in search of something which, when found, kindly insists that he continue searching. His immediate family lives in Minneapolis, MN, though he also feels at home in Washington D.C.; Grass Valley, CA; Bogotá, Colombia; and now, almost Denver, CO. He completed his B.A. in English & Creative Writing at The George Washington University in 2008. The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm (Vrindavan of the West) is the primary source of any yogic inspiration David aka Sri Nivasa may express. He plays on Facebook HERE.

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