BIG BIRD, GIVE US A BREAK

Eliminating  taxpayer subsidies
Item: President Trump’s budget would eliminate the taxpayer subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) which includes National Public Radio (NPR), and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  NEA and NEH each have a $148 million budget and CPB a $445 million budget
Reaction? The hills were alive with the sound of – outrage.  The Libs and their echo chamber, the mass media, fell back on the tactic that had worked for them in the past:
                                                     
 They’re killing Big Bird!
The Count to the rescue
Fortunately, one of Big Bird’s Colleagues is here to help –  Count van Count.
The Count appeared on Sesame Street to educate the viewer about simple mathematical concepts, including, as his name implies, counting.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_von_Count
Happily, the simple math numbers expose the “outrage” to be phoney. Big Bird is in robust good health and really does not need our tax monies!
Let’s look at the numbers:
Sesame Workshop made $46.9 million last year from licensing Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters on an astonishing variety of merchandise, from diapers to backpacks, from clothing to toys, from decor to accessories. HuffPo cites an analyst who estimates that Hasbro’s Fisher-Price division generates $70 to $75 million a year in revenue from “Sesame Street” toys alone.
The 2013 federal appropriations for the CPB were $445 million. PBS gets about $300 million of that; the radio stations get around $100 million. Defenders say that in the age of a $16 trillion debt, this is a ’rounding error.’ Yes, folks, this is how Washington works. As Sen. Everett Dirksen once quipped, ‘a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.’...They do not need taxpayer money, which can go to much worthier places (like back to the taxpayer’s pocket.) … Government subsidies taint domestic media outlets; and, in the case of public broadcasting, the bias that results is unsurprisingly pro-big government… There’s a reason, after all, why people are stumping for public broadcasting dressed as Big Bird and not, say, Bill Moyers or Nina Totenberg…. I agree that they’re popular enough to do very well without our money. Membership is a great business model.Big Bird will be able to spread his wings on his own. [Emphasis added.]
The Libs know this. They invoke the wonderfully wholesome but irrelevant Big Bird to cloak the overwhelmingly unwholesome activities the taxpayers are forced to support. 
Advancing the Liberal agenda
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Public Radio (NPR), and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), are all subsidized by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
… publicly funded radio and TV programming … has a history of insulting the majority of Americans.
The CPB was founded in the 1960s, and it has been plagued with problems ever since. In the late 1980s, the NEA funded Andre Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’ and Robert Mapplethorpe’s ‘The Perfect Moment.’ Serrano took a crucifix and dropped it into a jar of his own urine, branding it art. The NEA gave a Philadelphia museum $30,000 to display graphic homosexual S&M photos taken by Mapplethorpe….To show how perverse things have become, President Barack Obama …  actually included $50 million for the arts as part of his ‘federal stimulus package.’ One of the first beneficiaries was a San Francisco outfit, [which]… received $25,000 to pay for employees’ salaries. What did the public get from it? The group hosted ‘a long-running pansexual performance series called ‘Perverts Put Out’; it asked the audience to ‘Join your fellow pervs for some explicit twisted fun.’ [Emphasis added.]
http://www.catholicleague.org/cut-funds-to-nea-neh-npr-pbs/
And then there is the PBS documentary entitled “Real Boy,” produced by ITVS, an entity created so that CPB could fulfill a requirement to fund an “an independent production service.” CPB gave ITVS $19,268,468 in fiscal 2015, the most recent year reported in CPB’s 990 forms. It gave PBS $37,231,085. Here is the description:
A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety, and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity,…Through the process, his mother Suzy makes her own transformation traveling a difficult road toward accepting that the daughter she raised is now her son Bennett.
http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/should-taxes-fund-pbs
Want more?
 … corporate welfare for CPB may have been an indulgence we could afford in 2000, when the federal budget was running an $86 billion surplus. Today, with a deficit in excess of $1.3 trillion, it’s a luxury, and we must cut back. …The NEA became the focus of controversy in the late 1980s, when the federal tax dollars it doled out in grants went to exhibit the photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe (which the Washington Post said in a 1989 report the “included sadomasochistic and homoerotic images”) …
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/trumps-budget-calls-shutting-national-endowment-arts?
Missing the point
In doing the research on this subject, I was surprised to find hundreds of sources bemoaning “censorship” and extolling the need for “artistic” freedom. They all missed the point.
I have no desire to censor anyone. Let her or him indulge “artistic” expressions.
If these folks want to parade their bad taste and lack of decency to the world, my attitude is GO FOR IT!
Just don’t have the government force me to pay for it!
Am I an anomaly? You decide.
Effect upon competition
Since 1969, Congress has appropriated more than $8 billion to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
…there is no reason why the government should be funding this particular set or helping fund this particular set of stations around the country when you have got the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, any number of children’s channels doing the same kind of thing. [quoting commentator Milton Kondracke] …
http://www.aim.org/special-report/the-case-for-de-funding-public-broadcasting/
Jim DeMint, President of Heritage Foundation:
…another reason…for cutting government subsidies to public broadcasting. Yes, the public gets a substandard product as a result of the protection from competition that government supports ensures. But it’s also unfair to the many other media organizations that struggle to produce quality news and entertainment without a government-sponsored bird feeder. In reality, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees both …PBS and NPR , doesn’t need to be on the dole. It has a membership model that works. [Emphasis added.]
http://time.com/4005568/sesame-street-public-broadcasting/
Longstanding campaign to silence conservatives
Why silence conservatives?  For the obvious reason: the Libs cannot refute them on the merits.
Remember the so-called “fairness doctrine” established in 1949 by the FCC to require broadcast stations, but not the press, to give, for every conservative viewpoint, equal time to a liberal perspective.
Former John F. Kennedy administration official Bill Ruder once acknowledged that the Fairness Doctrine’s underlying purpose, from the outset, was to purge from the media as many conservative voices as possible:’Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass the right-wing broadcasters, and hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too costly to continue.’ [Emphasis added.]
In 1987, the FCC repealed the doctrine:
We seek to extend to the electronic press the same First Amendment guarantees that the print media have enjoyed since our country’s inception…[Emphasis added.]
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations …ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead, …as equally as troubling, has been the continued push by some in Congress in recent years to keep this censorship concept alive – to find some way to keep the pressure on – to keep Christian and conservative broadcasters under the thumb of the federal government.
Legislative efforts to enact the dead letter doctrine into law were vetoed by President Reagan.
Conservative talk radio has prospered.  The Libs tried to counter with liberal talk shows but none drew significant audiences; a prime example being the highly touted Air America which went bankrupt.
John Taylor, the producer of the syndicated Freedom & Prosperity Radio:
The whole liberal mantra is based around emoting rather than bringing out intelligent arguments. They do a lot of personal attacks, a lot of making fun of people, and not much about the ‘why’ of things…
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/liberals-radio-conservatives-audience/2014/01/14/id/547066/
Strange, is it not, that these folks never see unfairness with the print media being 95% liberal?

Even stranger is their blindness to the simple solution.

With the wide diversity of views available today in the expanding broadcast system, there is a simple solution for any family seeking an alternative viewpoint or for any lawmaker irritated by a pugnacious talk-show host. Turn the dial.
http://www.heritage.org/government-regulation/report/why-the-fairness-doctrine-anything-fair
Conclusion
The problem- propaganda:
State-funded media suffer from one glaring, common problem: Someone — a central authority — gets to decide what kind of content is appropriate for the public, and what isn’t. As taxpayers, we cannot withhold our money if we object (or, are indifferent) to what we see — we have to pay for it regardless. In most countries, this is called propaganda; the populace is fed what the government wants them to see. 

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/trump-is-right-to-cut-pbs-npr-funding-its-just-elitist-propaganda-anywayI

Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business…are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite…. Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. … Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it. … If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question
– Ronald Reagan

Dick Coleman

Richard M. Coleman served as National Co-Chair, Lawyers for Reagan-Bush ’84 and really does miss RR. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Dick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of the National Caucus of Metropolitan Bar Leaders. A professor on the faculty of Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for 17 years, he received Pepperdine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He has hosted TV forums on legal and financial topics and written and spoken extensively on political issues.

© Richard M. Coleman 2018