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Update on Preserving Public Broadcasting

By Michelle Michalos
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
  • comments (7)

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who called your representative to voice your support for public broadcasting.  You joined hundreds of thousands of people across the country who phoned or emailed their representatives.

Despite your calls and the valiant efforts of public media supporters on Capitol Hill, led by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Ed Markey (MA-7), and Nita Lowey (NY-18), the House of Representatives voted 235-189 to pass a continuing resolution that among other things eliminates funding for public broadcasting.

The fight now moved to the Senate where a continuing resolution is also expected to come up for a vote before March 4.  Please reach out to your Senators to let them know how you feel about public television and public radio and the elimination of federal funding support. (Their phone numbers are listed below.)

Please also go to www.170millionamericans.org where you can learn more and sign up to be kept informed.

Read PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger’s piece in The Huffington Post about the value of Public Broadcasting, particularly as it  relates to education and childhood learning.

Below are some talking points about public broadcasting.

  • Public broadcasting is America’s largest classroom—closing the achievement gap through innovative, standards-based educational content and resources for parents, teachers and students.
  • Public broadcasting serves as a trusted partner and agent of better citizenship in the world’s greatest democracy.
  • Public broadcasting is not “a luxury we can’t afford” but an essential service regularly depended on and enjoyed by 170 million Americans in all 50 States.
  • Cutting or eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting will have a severe negative impact on local services and economies in all 50 states.


Senator Richard Blumenthal
Washington, DC Office: 202-224-2823
State Office:  860-258-6940

Senator Joseph Lieberman
Washington, DC Office: 202-224-4041
State Office:  860-549-8463 or 800-225-5605 (in CT)


Senator Frank Lautenberg
Washington, DC Office: 202-224-3224
State Office:  973-639-8700 or 888-398-1642

Senator Robert Menendez
Washington, DC Office: 202-224-4744
State Office: 973-645-3030


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Washington, DC Office: 202-224-4451
State Office: 212-688-6262

SenatorCharles Schumer
Washington, DC Office: 202-224-6542
State Office: 212-486-4430

  • Michelle Slater

    I signed the petition and forwarded it to all the names on my contact list. I so depend on Public media for new and culture that my life as a senior New Yorker living on a limited income would be terribly diminished if Public media could not continue to deliver the vital information and entertainment it does. I am deeply disappointed in the house for this and many other failures. I hope the Senate is more enlightened.

  • Vincent Arguimbau

    As a patron contributor of both New York and Connecticut Public Broadcasting I would like to register my disapproval of your campaign to retain public funding. It’s only 8 % of PBS’s support! I understood the need for public help when Thirteen started with Edward R. Murrow announcing the project, but that was fifty years ago. its time to cut the umbilical cord and make PBS completely independent of Government. I support Thirteen because of shows such as Frontline, but I recall some mention in the Bush Administration about reigning in PBS for making them look bad with public funding. I don’t want PBS to watch what they report because of taxpayer support. Also, at this time where so much has to be cut from the Federal Budget, I find it unseemly for PBS to beg and whine along with all the other special interests.

  • Eunice Day-Smith

    As much as I am not surprised that the Republicans wish to cut assistance to Public Broadcasting, (since they have a long record of attempting to squash Art and Entertainment Institutions) I am of the same thinking that it is now time for PBS and NPR, to become completely independent of public funding. Freedom always come at a price, but it is well worth fighting for.. we, the public are behind you. You richly express how we think, feel, wonder, learn, laugh, create,live, without assuming we are mindless idiots requiring banal entertainment. Stand Proud.

  • mj

    PBS and NPR are virulently anti-republican, why should they support the enemy?

  • Malcolm Fenton

    Anyone who has explored their TV channels or radio stations in the past ten years knows that PBS and NPR are just about the only sources of intelligent programs about science, art, music and society left in the United States. That means that they are a vital, ongoing part of public education, and one which is accessible to everyone, whether those listeners and viewers pay their dues or not.

    Dollar for dollar, PBS and NPR are probably the best value for public funding that we can get. I agree that we should review and prune public spending, but let’s not be stupid when we go about it.

  • Judith Haisley Mukae

    I must agree with Vincent Arguimbau…the Federal government deficit is frightening and as an investor I cannot ask them to continue to fund all that they have in previous years. We must first right their problems, above all else, and I say that as an avowed lover of Channel 13. But I want the government to take care of their problem asap and with any cut they can think of. As for Channel 13, if it is as mr. Arguimbau says…a very minor part of your intake, then it is time. Also, it is up to Management of Channel 13 to be creative and now is a good time to start. How about a new Lottery with the State’s blessing…or how about tying up with Cablevision or FIOS to charge the subscriber as we pay for TCM, etc., so that we pay (all of us as in England with the BBC, supposedly) for what we watch? And there must be many more approaches…these are just two obvious possibilities. Good luck to you then…

  • Gary Hyer

    There was a time when the Catholic church would only allow the mass to be read in Latin. This was done so that those in power could control the general population from developing any thoughts of their own and underminding the absolute control of the Papal center. Is this history repeating itself again. Stymie education and free thought and it’s so much easier to keep the rank and file in goose step with a singular doctrine.