I was raised on PBS. From Sesame Street, to discovery, science and educational programs, music, art and historical spotlights, right through to news and current event programming, PBS had been a welcome ‘friend’ in my house for decades. Not anymore.
One of the unique things about PBS is the fact that, even now, during this time of economic downturns, it remains largely publicly funded.
That fact meant PBS was able to provide quality programming entirely free from advertising of any kind. This valiant endeavor had been a shining beacon of light in an otherwise dark and mundane menagerie of money-grubbing, callous, truly wretched commercial stations.
Later, PBS stations began to take ‘underwriting’ grants, which they called ‘corporate sponsorships,’ and would broadcast brief mentions of the companies and organizations who had contributed. Someone has to ‘pay the bills,’ after all.
That’s all well and good, except PBS seems to have been so focused, lately, on gaining these sponsorships that they’ve lost focus on the “P” in their name. This corporate pandering has led PBS to become the hypocrite of American broadcasting.
Today’s “brief mentions” have escalated to full-length commercials, often stacked three and four back-to-back, which serve as a blatant and shameless slap across the face of the very public which has so selflessly offered up their hard-earned dollars, all these years.
They follow up this performance in true ‘poor-little-rich-kid’ style, constantly begging the public for money during their ‘telethons,’ all the while collecting ever increasing ‘sponsorships’ from their corporate cronies.
It’s curious that, while programming is often sacrificed and preempted during these telethons, mentions of their sponsors never are. In fact, more commercials are broadcast during these ‘fundraising’ times than ever!
PBS executives should truly be ashamed of themselves and, what’s more, they should be ashamed at the degradation they have forced onto a once clever, avant-garde, and even visionary venture. They have allowed public broadcasting to slide backward and have chosen to disgrace, degrade, humiliate, demean, pervert, corrupt and distort it into the abomination of hypocrisy which stands before us today.
For shame to you, PBS. For shame to your “sponsors.”
But perhaps most of all, for shame to us, the American public, for smiling sweetly as we offer what meager contributions we are able, all the while being led like sheep by the wolf of Public Broadcasting.
We are true helpless pawns just now waking up to the horrible reality of being forced to endure your lies, for what is sure to be so many hopeless years to come.
by Peter Gaseoustania; Gaseoustania Tonight