October 18, 2012
Two weeks after Mitt Romney politely dissected Barack Obama’s economic malpractice in front of 70 million Americans, some people are still peddling the idea that the evening’s bombshell was an imaginary threat to the survival of an imaginary bird.
Meanwhile, Conservative reaction to Romney saying he’d end subsidies for Public Broadcasting proves it’s possible to be absolutely correct and still miss the point.
Whether PBS could survive without subsidies is utterly irrelevant. The real point of the Big Bird panic is that there is no conceivable excuse for the existence of a government-owned broadcasting network in the United States, and Liberals are afraid people might figure that out.
Democrats lurching to a “Save Big Bird” strategy unintentionally reveal how the administration regards the mentality of voters it seeks to attract, and also reveals things about the role of PBS.
Sold as a cultural outpost to taxpayers who liked being told they were above the pedestrian fare served up by commercial networks—PBS unsurprisingly proved to be less an outpost than a beachhead.
Once established, it instantly set about seducing the public to embrace Liberal government’s ambitions. For decades, PBS has helped propel us toward wrong decisions about what makes a healthy society and what we should look to government to do.
Would it be better if PBS were an engine of Conservative thought? No. Government constantly spends the people’s money to herd them, by touting its agenda. This gross abuse is inevitably the core purpose of any government-owned media. There is no way to prevent the abuse except by making sure government-owned media doesn’t exist.