Media Matters Provides A Great Reason to Defund Public Television

In response to PBS's airing of Andrew Coulson's pro-school-choice documentary, Brett Robertson of Media Matters writes:

Why would a public broadcast channel air a documentary that is produced by a right-wing think tank and funded by ultra-conservative donors, and that presents a single point of view without meaningful critique, all the while denigrating public education?

Well, if public funding means that PBS should not air anything critical of public institutions, its time to end the public funding.  Robertson simply confirms what critics have been saying for years, that public funding makes PBS an agent of the state, and there is not much we need less today than state-sponsored television**


** I will add that I watch way more PBS than the average person and donate to it every year.  I often don't agree with their editorial policy and if it really ticked me off enough I suppose I would stop donating.  My opposition to state funding of PBS has nothing to do with my enjoying its product.  Ironically, I actually think that it might be worse without state funding because I think the shaming about lack of balance that goes with the funding tends to put a small brake on its management's tendency to go hard Left.  But that is irrelevant to the principle that state-funded media is a bad idea.


  1. joshv:

    You are exactly right. If PBS/NPR loses public funding it will follow it's based in a hard left turn. Likely I will stop watching/listening.

  2. Maddog:

    State funding of media is censorship

    Per the old saw, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Government also has more than one way to censor speech. The most direct is the one we tend to think of as censorship, government sends goons with guns to shut down the presses, beat the writers, and imprison as necessary to obtain its goals. But there is another nicer way of censoring.

    If one has loads of money, as government does, one can buy the speech one likes in great gobs. Say, forcing public entities to buy art based on the size of the building, then forming an agency to ensure the art conforms to the states wishes. This means the art which the state likes and wishes to promote will be promoted extensively, and quite common.

    In writing, if the state funds media outlets, and supports film, and other media based speech through the likes of NPR, or public broadcasting, as well as state, or national film funds, tax deductions, and the like, the films, television programing, and other media produced will be the type desired by government. This creates a "drowning out" of other speech situation where the government speech becomes so prevalent that it is ubiquitous.

    This nicer form of censorship is still censorship, and should not be tolerated. The state should not control any of the levers of power over speech. The state should not be funding media, or film, or art. But it does, we've allowed it to inveigle its way into these areas, and this should stop.

    Mark Sherman

  3. GoneWithTheWind:

    PBS public funding = collusion.

  4. gvanderleun:

    "the shaming about lack of balance that goes with the funding tends to put a small brake on its management's tendency to go hard Left."

    Oh, puhlease. At y our age you should be far beyond such jejune assumptions.

  5. gvanderleun:

    Like everybo