I've been following a number of developments leading up to the announcement that the Bush Administration is cutting funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by 25% this year. For all of their vitriol aimed at the unabashed liberalism of Bill Moyers, and their frustration with the actual reporting happening on Frontline and the McNeill News Hour, I think can pinpoint the real target of the Republican campaign to cripple public television:
Now, as I think about this -- what other non-profit company has been as committed and as successful as the Children's Television Workshop in promoting child social, emotional and educational development? What other concern addresses children's motivation and interest in the arts, or pre-school literacy, and introduces concepts in math and science as well as CTW? All noble aspirations, right? So why take them on? What makes them a target?
Well, in order to send a message to "liberal" news organizations, that's why. To wreak revenge on the perceived political enemies of the state. And in order to bust a cap in Bill Moyers absent butt, they're willing to scrap the network which has brought real value and continues to demonstrate real value to our society. To our CHILDREN. These family values hypocrites seek to destroy the medium which has taught three generations of children the honest community values brought to you by Elmo, the letter Q, and the number 8.
What am I talking about?
Self-esteem. Sharing. Co-operation. Tolerance. Pluralism. Imagination. Creativity. Love. Innocence. Friendship. Communication. Multiculturalism. Integrity. Honesty. Coping with loss (remember when Mr. Hooper died and someone had to explain that to Big Bird?).
Sesame Street communicates all of these things on a daily basis to millions of children here and around the world, and all without a single mention of GOD or THE BIBLE or JESUS.
Sesame Street represents a secular culture that teaches all of the things that you're supposed to learn in Sunday School, and all without indoctrination in the Scriptures or instilling fear or shame in our children as a means to control them throughout their lives.
You know that has to scare the living crap out of the prime Republican movers in the wingnut Christian community.
Think I'm off base? Who lost their mortal cool about the purported sexual proclivity of the Teletubbies? Jerry Falwell. Who had public conniption fits about the perceived flamboyance of a cartoon sponge? James Dobson. You think for a second that they really have any love for Elmo, Grover, or Kermit? I'm sure they've also expressed grave reservations about the sinful nature of the cohabitation of Bert and Ernie.
The coordinated Republican campaign for "fairness and balance" in media is so reckless and so shameless that they're willing to kick Wishbone, Reading Rainbow, The Electric Company, ZOOM, and Clifford The Big Red Dog to the curb. But I don't believe in coincidences. If this administration is willing to lie about terrorism in order to establish control over oil, then it's not so much of a stretch to believe that they'll carp about Bill Moyers when what they really want to do is take Big Bird away from your children.
Oscar may be a Grouch, but he's a paragon of virtue compared to these power-mad, lying schmucks running our country and dominating our discourse.
This madness must stop.
Support your local public broadcasters. In Nashville, WPLN 90.3 FM/1410 AM on the radio; WNPT on UHF & cable.