Who benefits if PBS goes silent?

Reader Input
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I have been a subscriber to affiliates of PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service) for 25 years and I, like tens of millions of others, am proud to think that a dollar or two of my taxes goes to support this great institution. It is really disheartening to hear Mitt Romney target it by name for extinction. Agricultural mega-corps probably get more of the $20 billion in annual farm subsidies to not plant crops that it takes to run PBS. Certainly the unaccounted losses in the Iraq war due to direct theft of cash and corrupt contractors would run PBS for hundreds of years. PBS estimates that 90 percent of American households watch in any year, but there is one group that is salivating over the idea of its demise; that is the blamestream media (Fox, Rush, Savage etc.) and its billionaire paymasters. How fantastic for them would be the destruction of a world-spanning news organization that actually delivers fair and balanced reportage on current affairs instead of talking-head puff-pieces and squawking distortion. And how great for radio advertisers when the stations that provide classical music, jazz and meaningful discussion programs go silent, leaving us to scan the dial for anything not owned by ClearChannel. How great for toymakers when mothers whose children watch low-key programming on PBS have to switch to commercials for toy products thinly disguised as children’s cartoons. How great for the slowly declining Big Three TV conglomerates when people who love watching opera, carefully constructed long-arc drama and global news programming have to choose between reruns of Snooki and “Survivor.” There is a sense on the far right that ending PBS would be a sort of comeuppance for liberals; that public service means socialist service; that culture is spelled elitism. Of course Romney, who will pander to anything that advances his progress an inch toward the goal line, has bought into this, revealing yet more of the inner man – a small-minded person, a disciple of the politics of revenge. John Sisson, Newcastle