Last Updated:November 26 @ 10:41 am

Kincaid: Romney Wants to End Federal Funding of Public TV

By Cliff Kincaid

In remarks certain not to endear him to the liberal media, Mitt Romney has told CBS News that federal subsidies for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) have to end. AIM has argued for years that the taxpayers should not be forced to underwrite the liberal programming on public television.

The headline, “Romney: I’d cut PBS, Obamacare, arts subsidies,” is running over a Romney interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley. Asked for specific budget cuts, Romney listed “the subsidy for PBS, the subsidy for Amtrak, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts” and “the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which supports PBS, receives approximately $450 million annually from federal taxpayers.

One of the anchors of PBS coverage of the GOP convention is Gwendolyn L. “Gwen” Ifill, a liberal who has just defended David Chalian, the former Yahoo Washington bureau chief who was fired for claiming that the Romneys were “happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

Ifill tweeted that Chalian was merely guilty of one mistake and that he is “God’s gift to political journalism.” Chalian was political editor of the PBS Newshour program before he went to Yahoo News.

In addition to targeting adults with left-wing programming, PBS advertises itself as “America’s largest classroom” through “educational media” which “helps prepare children for success in school and opens up the world to them in an age-appropriate way.”

But Mary Grabar and Tina Trent revealed, in a special report for the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, that the “educational materials” from public broadcasting are characterized by an “unrelenting ideological slant” with a goal of “re-educating children into becoming far-left activists.”

They explained, “By creating primary materials through programming and reporting and then producing syllabi packaged by age group based on those primary materials, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has evolved into perhaps the single most influential voice in the nation’s classrooms, while defending their own taxpayer funding streams by doing so.”

Their examples included “…lessons that glorify the Black Panthers and riots and protests of the 1960s, present rocker Patti Smith as a ‘patriot’ for singing songs that condemn President George W. Bush, vilify Wal-Mart, and sanctify environmentalist Rachel Carson.”

PBS has a notorious liberal bias that goes back decades. In one of the more recent examples, Agustin Blazquez, a Cuban exile, ran into a series of roadblocks from PBS and the CPB when he requested funding for films on life under the Castro dictatorship and Castro’s murderous accomplice Che Guevara. We noted in a column, “Not only did public TV refuse to fund the anti-communist films, public broadcasting would not consider airing them.”

Back in 2001, then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeared on Sesame Street “to help teach children how to resolve conflict.” He appeared on the show and shared laughs with Big Bird and the other puppets. This was followed, on January 7, 2003, by PBS airing “Kofi Annan: Center of the Storm,” a glowing portrait of the U.N. Secretary-General and his efforts to “revitalize” the U.N.

In a 2005 article, “The Case for De-Funding Public Broadcasting,” we argued that with the rise of cable television and talk radio, U.S. taxpayer underwriting of television and radio is no longer needed. The public should not have to subsidize public broadcasting through tax dollars or tax breaks.

At that time, AIM had documented how public broadcasting entities had received over $8 billion from the taxpayers since their creation.

In a previous interview with Fortune magazine, Romney explained his rationale for cutting PBS. He did not identify any examples of bias in the programs but instead argued for the elimination of the taxpayer subsidies on economic and financial grounds. He said, “Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”

Before the interview with Fortune, at a campaign stop, Romney said, “I’m going to take all the programs. And look at how much money is associated with each one, and ask this question: Is this program so critical to America that it makes sense to borrow money from China to pay for it?”

In order to make up for lost taxpayer dollars, Romney said, “Maybe Big Bird is going to have to have advertisers.”

It would be wise, however, for Romney to quickly bone up on the liberal bias that characterizes so many PBS personalities. Jim Lehrer of PBS will moderate the first of four 2012 election debate.

It could have been worse. The New York Times reported that Ifill was “livid” she was not picked as a debate moderator.

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Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org

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31 Comments

  1. jabComment by jab
    August 31, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    I pray Romney stays firm on this and does not bend to pressure. This has needed to be done for a long time. Also, the U.N. funding needs to stop. Thanks for this article.

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    • militarymom1Comment by militarymom1
      August 31, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

      I am not a Democrat nor a Republican however, I know that Romney is who I HAVE to vote for, and I too hope and pray that he stands his ground against the traders of this Great nation.I also believe that Romney knows that when he IS ELECTED that all America will be paying very close attention….And reading all these post from wonderful Patriots like most of you on here, I have a renewed faith in the American People and what the outcome of this election will be. Thank you all

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    • foxmulderComment by foxmulder
      September 1, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

      Yes, the taxpayers must stop funding this relentless liberal news source. There is simply no need for public TV anymore with all the channels available on cable or direct TV. Conservative taxpayers should not be forced to pay for liberal propaganda.

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  2. bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
    August 31, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    I believe that Romney is right about this. Public TV is good sometimes but they concentrate a good deal on liberal issues and beliefs. Obviously, I am not a liberal.
    This is just one of many programs that the taxpayers should not be paying for. As a Liberal (Democrat), the thought is that the amount they get is insignificant so they skip it.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      August 31, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

      As Far as PBS goes, and I make emphasis on the BS part of PBS, Gwen Ifil is one eyeful I could do without watching on my Boob Tube. As far as being America’s largest classroom, make that America’s largest socialist factory of Liberal mind manipulation of edifying multi-cultural and racial political correctness over American exceptionalism.

      Just why is it we conservative taxpayers have to fund with our money progressive ideological ideas that are contrary to American Constitutional principles and create personal outcomes that put us all in the trashcan with Sesame Street Ernie.

      “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” –Thomas Jefferson.

      The fact of the matter is that their ideas never survive in the free marketplace of ideological competition, so they must be funded of course not with their own, but someone else’s money. Time to pull the government plug and let them sink or swim likes the rest of us. If they are not producing anything meaningful to America’s bottom line of infinite debt the funds should be eliminated. The day of the producers must eclipse the setting moon of the ruling entertainers.

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  3. jcmooreComment by jcmoore
    August 31, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    Good! In my more liberal youth I felt government support of the Arts was a fine thing. With my disillusionment with the socialist left and big government right I registered Libertarian (quite a few years ago). The third parties are now making inroads to the public as they become fed up with the b***s*** rhetoric of the major party demagogues who have shredded the Constitution and unconscionably put future generations in horrific debt that may not ever be diminished.

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  4. malcolmxComment by malcolmx
    August 31, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    it is a left wing dripping faucet; why sound I a conservative pay for that?????

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    • verityComment by verity
      August 31, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

      I’ve tried to watch programs on PBS for years…thinking there was something wrong with me that I just didn’t like their slant. It’s all so cum-by-ya goodie-goodie touchy feely liberalism. I liked one Masterpiece Theater series years ago and I also liked Cosmos (billions and billions).

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    • malcolmxComment by malcolmx
      August 31, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

      i AM SOOO SORRY ABOUT MY TYPE -O “SHOULD”

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      August 31, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

      The Best PBS description of the Democrat Party was the series “I Claudius” when Roman Emperor Caligula forced the wives of the Senators into Prostitution to pay for his Praetorian guards who ended up killing him anyway. While Caligula lived, I Claudius had to impersonate an effeminate fool as he was next in line for execution after the hope of the Julio-Claudio dynasty, and Caligula’s father Germanicus (the JFK of his Day) died in a conspiracy after drinking the government coolaid.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      September 1, 2012 @ 8:31 am

      I Claudius was brilliant, watched the complete series. Who knew it was also a revelation as to our present predicament. Will we suffer the same fate? Stay tuned!

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  5. catnip24Comment by catnip24
    August 31, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    good for romney. it’s about time someone had the guts to finally say these programs are useless. there’s no reason my tax dollars should fund somebody’s ride on amtrack, to let some kids watch big bird, let people go look at some picture someone drew or get paid to lecture me on how to treat my fellow man.

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  6. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    August 31, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    I agree with the idea of ‘Separation of Media and State’, so I support ending the funding for ‘public broadcsting’.

    It will be a savings of tax funds, but will not make a scratch (much less a dent) in the budgetary problem.
    Total elimination of ‘departments’ like Education, Energy, and others … along with shutdown of the IRS, EPA and TSA will only ‘dent’ the problem.

    The ‘entitlement’ cancer is where the emphasis needs to be placed, and I say that as a person CURRENTLY drawing Social Security.

    The other cuts are necessary, but minor …

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    • verityComment by verity
      August 31, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

      I, too draw Social Security….but think how long I, as a senior citizen, paid into it and contributed to the overall wealth of our country. I worked. I was not supported by the government. I paid my debts and did not weasel out of them. This is America…anyone can do it…they just have to want to do it.

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    • bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
      September 1, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

      If you dig up all the out of control spending, fraud, corruption, unsupervised programs, and on and on, you will find the costs are usually recognized but set aside saying: We need to look at something else, this won’t make a difference. W R O N G !

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  7. bbarrett49Comment by bbarrett49
    August 31, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    i dont know why the debates are moderated by libs. doesnt the republican party have any say? are they chopped liver or what? it should be each side picks a mod or two. not dictated by the liberal lame street media

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      August 31, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

      I have asked this question several times, in numerous posts. Where is the RNC when it came to choosing moderators for the Presidential debates and the order in which, the subject material will be telecast?

      Sounds to me like the Left-wing MSM has complete control over the situation. This shouldn’t be.

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    • bulldogComment by bulldog
      August 31, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

      How about they have two moderators for each debate, one from the left, and one from the right. they could alternate questions.

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    • verityComment by verity
      August 31, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

      How about during debates the questions would be drawn out of a hat….perhaps submitted by the public. The candidates(R, D, and L) would have to answer them.

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  8. wedeyComment by wedey
    August 31, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    There is nothing that would make me happier than defunding NPR. My cable now has so many channels I would never watch. Why is the government subsidizing any TV station or radio station or any media outlet. If the people want to watch it, then let them pay a fee just like you do with HBO and some of those other channels.

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  9. verityComment by verity
    August 31, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    wedey…good suggestion. Pay-per-view.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      August 31, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

      The Federal appeals courts would claim it to be racially discriminatory for those who can afford BET Cable, but not afford pay per view or pay as you go anything. They aren’t even required to show free issued voter I.D. cards now in Texas according to our Judicial activist Judges.

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  10. malcolmxComment by malcolmx
    August 31, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    THINGS TO END IN THE FIRST 100 DAYS;;;OBAMACARE,GULF DRILLING MORATORIUM, EPS, FEDERAL RESERVE, DEFICIT SPENDING, OBSTRUCTING THE KEYSTONE,BAN ON PROSECUTION OF BLACK ON WHITE CRIME; RESTRAINT FROM PROSECUTING HOLDER. NO BUDGET FROM THE SENATE;; PASS IT OR IMPEACH THEM.

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    • flyfisherman12Comment by flyfisherman12
      September 1, 2012 @ 7:10 am

      True – True – True!

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    • verityComment by verity
      September 1, 2012 @ 8:34 am

      If I don’t have a household budget does that mean that I can pick and choose what and who to pay…and when? Does that mean that I can run up my bills and just not bother with them or borrow from Peter and Paul?

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  11. malcolmxComment by malcolmx
    August 31, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    EPA MY BAD

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  12. VoiceOfReasonComment by VoiceOfReason
    August 31, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

    Illuminato: The Caligula comment rang a bell. Caligula believed, like Zerobama, that he was a god. He proclaimed himself a god and his sister, with whom he was in an incestuous relationship, a goddess. When she became pregnant, he carved the baby out of his sister’s womb killing both her and the baby, because in his insanity he feared that the baby would be a greater god than he, Caligula, was.

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  13. jed1Comment by jed1
    August 31, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    REAL television networks make it without gov’t handouts – PBS should also. On the other hand, who cares? I don’t watch PBS.

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    • verityComment by verity
      September 1, 2012 @ 8:45 am

      We care because we pay for it whether we watch it or not. It’s entertainment, not a right as described in the Constitution.

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  14. sockettuemComment by sockettuem
    September 1, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    Public Television, indeed the entire PBS system is a waste of taxpayer money. If people want it, they should subscribe to it, not be forced to fork over tax dollars to be spoon fed the liberal agenda. Let them compete for viewers like everyone else and let the market, not politicians decide if they have what it takes to survive.

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  15. minnieComment by minnie
    September 1, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    PBS is there only for liberals, they discriminate with our tax dollars. PBS should not get our tax dollars at all. Romnie will make sure ACORN does not get any tax dollars, by name ACORN or any name.

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