Despite G.O.P. push to defund, president’s plan preserves public broadcasting dollars
Big Bird can breathe a little easier now.
Despite calls from conservatives and a bipartisan committee to cut federal funding of Corporation for Public Broadcasting, President Obama's 2012 budget — released Monday — preserves the money that supports it.
Obama’s proposal includes $445 million in general programming grants for CPB in 2012, 2013 and 2014 — up from $430 million in 2011.
The president’s plan comes as members of the House Appropriations Committee had in recent days renewed the push to defund to CPB — and progressive groups, like MoveOn.org, and the Writers Guild of America, East mobilized to fight for PBS and NPR.
“Federal funding is critical to support quality programming like Sesame Street and Frontline and important institutions like PBS and NPR,” the WGAE said in a statement Monday. “The Public broadcasting provides more than 21,000 jobs, including jobs for writers. No one wants to read the headline, 'Congress to Big Bird: ‘Drop Dead.’”
"In a media landscape cluttered with lowest-common denominator content, CPB creates an oasis where Big Bird and friends can thrive,” Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “Children can access educational shows that reinforce classroom lessons and Americans around the country can find the top-caliber programming that expands their knowledge while entertaining and informing their everyday lives.”
Late last year, the National Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a bipartisan committee charged with cutting the federal budget, submitted a budget plan to Obama that cut federal funding for CPC entirely.
The plan claimed the move would save $500 million a year, and drew support from the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Fox News chief Roger Ailes — who hired the fired Juan Williams (pictured) from NPR — and others.