We have a new political war: Public Broadcasting. Fund? or not fund? In this time of growing debt, you can understand why many taxpayers don’t want to pay for it. It is a luxury, not a necessity. There is a good argument that it was a necessity when it was first launched since there were few TV outlets at the time for diverse programming – but with all the news and entertainment cable networks today, that argument is over.
Perhaps – instead of just using fighting words back and forth – we should instead think of a creative way to solve the dispute. PBS is good – so let’s figure out a smart solution. There might be smart ways that we can keep PBS runnning and yet take it off the taxpayer payroll.
Here are two ideas off the top of my head and I have certainly not run the numbers to see if my thoughts are at all reasonable or possible — I only suggest these two ideas to motivate others towards thinking of other solutions (that might be profoundly better than my own ideas) instead of just going to war on it.
Perhaps lease some programming time but retain enough so that PBS can still have its PBS ‘personality’ and not simply become a clone of other networks? I bet there are some people or organizations that would lease programming hours. Frankly, if I could afford it or get others interested in it, I would love to lease an hour every Sunday morning and do my own version of the political Sunday morning shows. I think it would be fun to compete against the men who now anchor those shows.
Or …how about putting it (some or all) on the market and sell it to the public? The Green Bay Packers are publicly owned and people take great pride in that ownership with no return. I realize that an NFL franchise is profoundly different from PBS in that an NFL team sells tickets every Sunday to get annual revenue needed to operate – but there may be good ideas from that ownership that could be poached.
OK….I came up with two thoughts. Your turn. Do you have some idea how to keep PBS and yet take it off the public payroll? Time for us to all think instead of fighting. Maybe there is no solution but we should at least take a look at it. By the way, compromise is key.