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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Mr. Rogers’ Powerful Defense Of Federal Funding For PBS

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:21 PM
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2 moms liked this

During last week’s debate Mitt Romney pledged to cut all funding for PBS, including Big Bird. Although Romney pitched the cuts as a deficit reduction measure, all funding for PBS accounts for less than 1/100 of 1% of the budget.

Funding for public broadcasting has been under attack from the right for decades. In this clip from 1969, the late Fred Rogers — the creator of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” — gives an impassioned defense of federal funding for PBS. At the time President Nixon wanted to cut a federal grant to PBS in half.

Rogers explains how his show differs from for-profit cartoons directed at children:

I give an expression of care, every day to each child to help him realize that he is unique. I end the program by saying, ‘You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the world like you, and I like you just the way you are.’ I feel that if we and public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.

Watch it:

Sen. John Pastore, who chaired the hearings, said he got “goosebumps” from Rogers presentation and pledged to maintain the funding.

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:21 PM
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by Gold Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:58 PM

I loved his show growing up. 

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:04 PM

 Iwatched Mr Rogers with my kids was a show for all generations. There is so much more on PBS too,besides the kids educational programs. It really is important to keep it on the air. They do depend on donations from viewers . I would hate to see them go off the air. Tricky Dick Nixon didn't appreciate PBS either,I guess.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM
6 moms liked this

Waa waa waa.  PBS is not essential spending.  All nonessential spending must be cut, or we are going to continue going into the dump.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:07 PM
5 moms liked this
I think Mitt made his point clear. PBS was only a small part of what he would cut. It's an example of something that can thrive WITHOUT government funding. Carry on with building your mtn. out of a molehill.
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by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM

We need Sesame Street to live in this house. Why don't they start by cutting their salaries and bullshit perks.

by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:37 AM
1 mom liked this

The gov't has no business spending our tax dollars supporting public radio or tv.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the gov't should pay for the the old days, that would be a newspaper.

As for Mr. Rogers,  my girls never watched him.  He bored them to death.  And that song, the few times they had it on, drove me insane.

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:40 AM
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Less than 1/100th of 1%.

Come on now. There are plenty of places (approximately 99 and 99/100th% worth of places) that can be cut. Public broadcasting is great. Leave it alone. 

by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Another one of Johnson's Great Society stuff:

The importance of the act was supported by the statements of many prominent Americans such as Fred Rogers and Senator John O. Pastore (chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications) during the House and Senate hearings in 1967.

The United States House of Representatives passed the bill 266-91 on September 21, 1967, with 51 members voting "present" and 2 not voting.[2]

When Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law on November 7, 1967, he described its purpose:

It announces to the world that our Nation wants more than just material wealth; our Nation wants more than a "chicken in every pot." We in America have an appetite for excellence, too. While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man's spirit. That is the purpose of this act.[3]

More concretely:

It will give a wider and, I think, stronger voice to educational radio and television by providing new funds for broadcast facilities. It will launch a major study of television's use in the Nation's classrooms and their potential use throughout the world. Finally — and most important — it builds a new institution: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.[3]

The gov't had no business setting up a corporation then, any more than they do now.

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 4:49 PM
1 mom liked this

I did too. And so did my kids. It way way more educational than spongebob and the other wacky cartoons they had 

Quoting ReginaStar:

I loved his show growing up. 

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM
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