Public television is free. Every family, rich or poor, assuming they have a television, has exactly the same access ... to the same great children's programming, to the same "most trusted" news reporting, to the same world-class arts performances, to the same remarkable documentaries.
So, we believe that public television is a force for good culturally
as well as politically in our ever-evolving nation ... because it offers intelligent alternatives to the inanities and spectacles of commercial TV. It is not the servant of marketers.
On May 9, 1961, President Kennedy's new FCC chair, Newton Minow, called out television's chief executives at an industry conference. "I invite each of you," he challenged them, "to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland
On that day, a movement was born. And here we are, more than 50 years later, still supporting that movement.Hallelujah
Public television makes the credible claim that it is America's largest preschool classroom. Generations of toddlers took their first bite of the knowledge apple thanks to research-based shows like Sesame Street. Therefore, public television is in full fact a major positive influence on brain development in the US.
I think there's a good argument to be made that Governor Romney lost his bid for the presidency on October 3, 2012 during a debate, when he aggressively promised to "stop the subsidy to PBS" and named Big Bird, the Sesame Street icon, among his specific targets.
I suspect some reasonable people saw that as a shocking declaration of war against early childhood education. And I suspect many young voters who'd learned their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s via Sesame Street saw Mr. Romney's hard-nosed declaration as proof that this presidential candidate was dangerous to the public good.