Another Trump Policy to Screw His Supporters

Todd VanDerWerff - Another Trump Policy to Screw His Supporters - CPB EditionIt’s true that just over 23 percent of the CPB’s budget (nearly entirely derived from the federal government) goes toward the development and acquisition of television and radio programming. And, yes, losing that stipend will hurt PBS and NPR on some level — though the difference will probably be covered by private funding, whether thanks to corporations, grant foundations, or the famous “viewers like you.”

But most of the federal government’s dollars to CPB (just over 65 percent) go toward one thing: keeping rural PBS and NPR stations alive. These stations only continue to operate due to funding from the federal government. If Trump’s proposed budget becomes law, PBS and NPR themselves will continue to exist, on TV, on the radio, and on digital platforms. So will local affiliates in major urban areas. But many of those rural stations will be shuttered.

The rural areas served by those stations backed Trump heavily. He received 62 percent of the vote in rural counties. Thus, his budget’s proposed defunding of CPB is yet another way that a policy proposed by Trump seems as if it will have the most adverse effect on those who voted for him.

–Todd VanDerWerff
Defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Won’t Kill PBS

3 thoughts on “Another Trump Policy to Screw His Supporters

  1. And those are the best stations. I can live without “Masterpiece Theater.” The local craft and history shows are wonderful. But they don’t make money, so kill ’em. More viewers for Fox and reality shows, hooray!

    • NPR, I think not. They watch some of the PBS (Downton Abbey, Antiques Roadshow), but those aren’t going anywhere.

      What’ll die are locally-produced programming like “Outdoor Wisconsin” and things that profile North Dakota wood carvers. And I don’t know how many people watch those, yet it’s still wrong to slash them. Those programs celebrate local history & culture & artisans. That’s exactly what public funding should be used for.

      There’s not even any good reason to kill PBS funding anymore. Back in the 1990s, the goal was to benefit Rupert Murdoch. In a lot of areas, Fox was on crappy signal UHF channels; Murdoch wanted the better VHF frequencies. Now Fox comes in crystal clear on every television with a digital antenna, and most people use cable anyways.

      This is just cruel cutting for its own sake. It saves virtually no money, and only helps to coarseness and atomize the society further. Any spending that doesn’t directly benefit the powerful must be crushed. You don’t want people feeling a sense of community, do you.

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