I am a public radio junkie. I can’t get enough of it. I listen in my car and in my house. I even listen during pledge week because I don’t want to miss anything. I listen to podcasts of public radio shows on my Ipod while I run. I am that much of a dork.
And it appears that President Obama is too. The budget proposal he released on Valentine’s Day would increase funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the funding arm of NPR and PBS. But, like some proposals made on Valentine’s Day, it might be short lived.
Republicans in Congress are proposing spending cuts that would devastate PBS and NPR. To quote Congressman Bill Owens, it’s a “slash and burn,” that would harm families.
The recession is devastating to many families, but it would be terrible for kids to wake up and not have Sesame Street to teach them their letters. I may sound dramatic, but for many kids across the country, “Sesame Street” is the only preschool they are going to get. And it’s free to families. You don’t need to pay for cable to watch “Dinosaur Train” or “Sid the Science Kid.”
And you don’t need satellite radio to listen to “All Things Considered” on NPR. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is turn on the radio. My kids used to learn new words from Elmo and now they learn them from Robert Siegel.
I’m also learning from Robert Siegel. I feel like it’s difficult to find quality journalism these days with so many reporters getting laid off and newspapers closing. But the journalism of NPR and PBS is outstanding and unbiased. I know people think they’re biased on the left, but I don’t believe it. Journalism doesn’t get any better than PBS’ “Frontline” or “News Hour,” or, lately, Public Radio International’s “This American Life.”
If you’re a geek like President Obama and me, you’ll do what you can to help save public broadcasting. Visit http://www.170millionamericans.org/ to sign the petition.