Trump Budget May Give Big Bird the Pink Slip

The White House budget that was released on Monday has $300 billion worth of new spending, but it also has its share of cuts. One of those cuts is a plan to phase out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which provides money to PBS and National Public Radio.

“The Budget proposes to eliminate Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) over a two year period,” according to the proposal.

“CPB grants represent a small share of the total funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), which primarily rely on private donations to fund their operations,” it continues.

CNN reports that the CPB was ready for this battle and had commissioned a new survey which was released on Monday as well. The title of the survey is: “Americans Rate PBS and its Member Stations Most Trusted Institution for the 15th Consecutive Year.


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Republicans suggest that in the age of the internet and endless cable TV options, we don’t need a publicly funded broadcast network. Progressives will respond by trotting out Big Bird.

In 2012, when Mitt Romney suggested he would cut funding for public broadcasting, the Obama campaign responded with this ad:

So now, Vanity Fair has an article describing the long history of Republicans trying to cut funding for the CPB. They describe this scenario: “Conservatives have long argued that the free market should fund PBS and the like, not taxpayers. But it’s also worth noting that funding for these entities makes up a measly portion of the national budget—.016 percent, as of last year. Cutting them, then, offers very little practical benefit.

So, why are Trump and the G.O.P. so bent on doing it, anyway? Most likely, it’s because PBS and its ilk are perfect targets for the right. They combine two of the G.O.P.’s favorite punching bags: the media and government spending.”

But what Vanity Fair misses, according to some conservatives, is that the GOP dislikes what they see as “biased” media. PBS and NPR use taxpayer money to fund mostly left-leaning content. It’s not that Republicans don’t like Big Bird and Mr. Rogers, its the adult programming that promotes a left agenda. Or they could just do what every other station does and run commercials. Or offer a subscription service in 2018 there are plenty of different models to be able to make a profit.

John Sexton wrote in an article for Hot Air, “I’d like to propose an alternative solution, one which I could actually see President Trump supporting. Let’s keep the CPB funding in place and then add another o.o16 percent to the budget to fund Fox News Channel or a rival network with similar content. I’m sure progressives won’t mind since 0.016 percent of the budget is too insignificant for anyone to worry about.”

How about that?

Credit: Hot Air