What PBS and NPR funding cuts would mean at home

As you know, the Republicans, using the excuse of the federal deficit, are suggesting that we defund PBS and NPR. Like me, you’ve probably signed petitions and written to your elected officials, telling them how much you value Sesame Street and Frontline in a world run rampant with the likes of Justin Bieber and Glenn Beck. What you may not have taken into account, however, is the impact that federal defunding would have locally. Most notably, at least for me, it would likely spell the end of my favorite radio program, WEMU’s The Sunday Best with Arwulf. The following quote, from WEMU’s general manger, appears today on AnnArbor.com:

“If we were to lose that, probably what would happen is we would have to wipe out all of our locally produced music programs on the weekends and in the evenings, because the majority of our listening is between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays… We would lose a lot of our unique flavor because of it. We probably would have to reduce our news staff.”

– WEMU general manager Molly Motherwell, talking about possible federal cuts to public broadcasting funding

As much as I love Big Bird, this would be the bigger blow for me personally. If for no other reason than that, I ask you to please get involved and tell your legislators how you feel about NPR and PBS.

[note: Arwulf’s show is on Sundays, between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM EST, and you can listen online at WEMU.org. If you’ve never experienced the joy of 1920’s jazz, I’d encourage you to check it out. It has the power to change your life.]

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  1. Edward
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I turned on the news this morning, hoping to hear an update about what was going on in Wisconsin. Instead, I saw a feature about Justin Bieber’s new haircut, and a segment on what to do about overweight pets. Thankfully we have PBS and NPR as an option. We should be giving them more funding, not less. Unfortunately, having an educated citizenry isn’t in everyone’s best interests, though.

  2. TeacherPatti
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I love Arwulf’s show too…he was at the Michigan theater taking donations during the pledge drive (this was a few years ago) but I was too shy to say anything to him.

  3. EOS
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Yes, we sure need more NPR. I can only dial into Detroit, Ypsi, Ann Arbor, and Flint Stations in addition to 24 hours online and downloadable podcasts. I mean, All Things Considered, how many times a day do Liberals want to listen to repetitions of the same programs. Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me….

  4. karen
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Bieber’s new haircut is rad. I don’t know why Renee Montagne won’t acknowledge that. No wonder people think NPR is stuffy.

  5. Stephen
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on your first clever comment, EOS. It took a hell of a long time, but you finally got there. Savor the moment.

  6. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    rad hair…vs people losing their homes, jobs, worker’s rights…it does seem shallow & silly. I love a bit of pop culture now and again but one must admit that cable & the networks feed us a daily diet of pabulum. I’d rather be reading my book…

  7. karen
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday ATC did a story about why white people were losing interest in the NBA. Given the choice, I’ll take rad hair.

  8. Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    EOS, if it makes you feel better, I can only get the Ann Arbor station where I’m at.

  9. John Galt
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    The Republican party needs to manufacture TV sets and radio that aren’t capable of tuning in PBS and NPR. Right now, it’s possible that people could accidentally see an unpatriotic episode of Frontline on their way between a rerun of COPS and Glenn Beck’s magic blackboard hour.

  10. PeeBee
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Three little words that liberals can use to save PBS: Antiques Road Show.

    I receive it from both Toledo and Detroit. I like to flip rapidly between the two, for a truly mindblowing ARS strobe effect. And, if you do the same thing on your radio dial, “Whad’Ya Know” is almost funny.

  11. TaterSalad
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I have also written many times to my elected officials, Senators, House of Reps., etc and told them to defund NPR and PBS. Both are parasites living off of the taxpayers. Let them find funding on their own and not the taxpayers. They will be surprised at what the Free Market system will do for them.

  12. John Galt
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    You’re being too kind, dear friend. Parasites at least serve a real function. (I kind of thing of you and me as parasites on this site, Taters, as we feed happily on Mark’s bloated body of America-hating work, making the world a better place.) NPR and PBS are something far more insidious. They’re evil. They exist only to turn us gay, and destroy the glowing city on the hill that is God’s America. Their board of directors are ghouls from the depths of hell. And Snuffaluffagus has the eyes of a child molester.

  13. John Galt
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s also worth noting that the American tax payer spends something like $1 a year to support public broadcasting, while only about $780 a year on enhancing our war-fighting capabilities. That additional dollar could easily buy the bullet that kills the next Bin Laden, as a boy, before he had a chance to become the next Bin Laden. Think about it.

  14. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink


    Seems NPR/PBS are not the only ones facing cuts. They are the only people covering the aa.com’s cuts though, as aa.com seems to think this story isn’t worthy of coverage.

  15. Posted March 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    As long as they don’t cut funding to PBR.

  16. alan ciegilece
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Fewer gay sons. Better football teams. You name it.

  17. Eel
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Yes, all decisions should be made based up what will make our young men more brutish. Let’s start by smashing all the musical instruments under steamrollers, and banning bright colored clothing.

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