As we are drawn deeper and deeper into financial chaos, with politicians seemingly frozen in their tracks because they are terrified of offending their constituents, we hear about desperate measures to reduce our massive national debt. There is even discussion about cutting off funding for NPR and PBS. Could it be that our congressmen have concluded that it would be easier for them to make cuts in educational and cultural programming than in other areas closer to their constituents' hearts? With the decline in our American educational standards, the population that recognizes the value of PBS and NPR is probably declining, and regard for intellectuals in this country was never too high to begin with. I was born and bred in a big city, and it took me a while before I recognized that in many ways this is still a frontier country. A large number of Americans are turned off by anything that smacks of "intellectual". This is a double whammy when it comes to competing in a global economy. Intellectual excellence is prized much more highly by many other nations.
I can just hear you out there questioning the Big Bird channel as being intellectual, and to tell you the truth I do know I'm gathering a lot of different programming in one basket. (All right, I can hear many of you others shouting your support for Big Bird!) Overall, however, you would have to agree that NPR and PBS provide opportunities for excellent and entertaining programs than would otherwise be unavailable. Simply put, the audience would be too small to attract sponsors. And in a democracy, an educated population makes for
a strong country able to compete in a world that is "hot, flat, and crowded".
NPR and PBS are valuable resources that we need today, more than ever. Let's be patriotic and make sure we hang on to them in today's highly competitive world!