Sunday, March 6, 2011

Don't let the Repubs take away PBS

Tonight I did something I do every now and then that I may not be able to do if the Republicans in Congress get their way -- I watched PBS. I bring this up because it infuriates me to no end that so many people in this country cannot see the value of a publically-supported network that brings programming that will never be seen if left to profit TV -- the ratings simply won't support it. However, PBS brings to all of America not only educational shows for children, but also the kind of culturally-based programming that should be every bit as available as such lowbrow shows as Two and a Half Men or American Idol. Granted, it's not always my cup of tea -- the programming ranges from fair at the bottom end to outstanding and above at the top end. Nowhere else on broadcast television will you see shows like NOVA, American Experience, Masterpiece Theatre, and Great Performances. Tonight's 25th Anniversary concert from London of Les Miserables is one of the shows that falls into the truly outstanding category.

The argument seems to be that cable networks will continue to bring this type of programming; however, that denies a large portion of the country the ability to be able to see this kind of show simply because they can't afford cable or satellite. That number is growing as unemployment stays high and the economy remains stagnant. Whether people choose to watch shows like this is immaterial -- what matters is that they have the choice and ability to watch.

Please contact your congressperson or senator and urge them not to remove the funding from PBS -- this, I believe, is urgent. Outside a few large cities, there is a serious lack of access to culture, please don't let it get worse.

With that said, tonight I offer you Jean Valjean's death and the finale from Les Miserables: the 25th Anniversary Concert from the O2 Arena in London. Enjoy!

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