Defund public TV? Nope, Obama proposes 7% increase for Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The headline probably should read “Cartoon characters hold Capital press conference – beg for lives” or something. I’m not talking about the fuzzy red guy or the big yellow bird.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) calls out the Muppet Lobby in his blog post yesterday.

Last year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was allocated $420 million by Congress. And, President Obama is asking Congress to give a whopping $451 million to CPB in his new budget, even though the nation is more than $14 trillion in debt.

For those without a calculator, President Obama’s budget increases funding for this well-loved side-show by more than 7.1 percent.

The fuzzy characters have also been used by government departments to promote Democrat legislation.

Elmo has been particularly busy. Elmo has testified before Congress about the need for more funding for the arts and participated in other press conferences to increase spending on public broadcasting. Elmo even went on the lecture circuit last year with Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genochowski to promote government-funded broadband Internet.

At this rate, Americans can expect Big Bird to start filming commercials to hype ObamaCare.  If the FCC can borrow Elmo from PBS to build support for their plans, what’s to stop the Department of Health and Human Services from feeding Big Bird some lines?

When people – like say members of the TEA Party – suggest public broadcasting should be de-funded by the government, public broadcasting officials scoff at the idea, correctly stating the government’s contribution to their overall budget is not all that much as a percentage. They collect most of their funding through private sources and business sponsors.

Then when reality hits – after Republicans take control of the US House – they bring out the fuzzy guys and the tears.

Private broadcasters need to make enough money to pay all of their expenses, salaries and production costs and make a few more dollars for the investors. That profit is important, as if there were no investors, there would be no productions or jobs.

Public broadcasting only needs to meet their expenses, salaries – the Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received almost $1 million dollars in compensation in 2008 – and production costs without the concern to make a profit for investors.

Let’s say a really good year for a media giant would be a 10 to 15 percent profit. Curiously, the federal government provides public broadcasting about 15 percent of their funding.

Check out this story by William Douglas from McClatchy Newspapers. When it comes to Big Bird, I guess the “more sensitive tone” is out. My emphasis in bold, angry, bright red for effect.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have set their sights on CPB as part of their effort to slash $61 billion from a government spending bill being debated this week. They would end CPB’s funding, which totals $445 million for fiscal 2012 – or 0.01 percent [ROTFLMAO]of President Barack Obama’s proposed $3.73 trillion budget.

Many conservatives want to kill CPB – which subsidizes the Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio and 1,300 locally owned and operated radio and TV stations nationwide – because they don’t believe in taxpayer-subsidized news media, and because many think the organizations lean left.

Lean left? Have you seen a muppet out promoting the Appleseed Project?

With the House speaker’s gavel again in their hands, conservative anger still fresh over NPR’s firing of commentator Juan Williams, and public opinion calling loudly for a less debt-ridden government, House Republicans are expected to vote this week to gut CPB.

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s site:

Someday far into the future, people might look back at the fact that a country suffocating beneath a $14 trillion debt continued to entertain pleas for cash from cartoon characters, muppets and public trough lampreys in Congress (pardon the redundancy) and chuckle, but for me that day is not today.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. johnboy111 on February 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I don't want to pay for NPR//I don't want to pay for abortions…guess I am a hate monger[oh well]

  2. Old Biker on February 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    This guy is completely disconnected. Nobody from your hick town mayor to the president has any business proposing any sort of increase for this nonsense. How can reasonable people from either side support this loon?

  3. Dimsdale on February 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I wonder how many Sesame street characters were mistaken for Congresscritters?


    Down with National Progressive Radio!

  4. Don Lombardo on February 18, 2011 at 5:54 am

    NO taxpayer money for non-profits – period.


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