We need to have robust New Jersey public broadcasting, but we need to have it in a way that is not continuing to cost the taxpayers and can be perceived as truly independent from state government.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie • Describing his plan to have WNET take over public television coverage in New Jersey, as well as to offer up public radio coverage to stations in Pennsylvania and New York. A deal’s already in place. The decision is controversial to say the least — some New Jersey residents are concerned about losing local programming as a result of the plan, and over 100 people will lose their jobs — though they have the opportunity to reapply for similar jobs with WNET. Though officials reassure that donaations raised for public broadcasting “will stay in New Jersey,” this is kind of a crap move if you ask us. These services cost the state relatively little and their benefits are pretty high. And the state wouldn’t be able to get away with this move at all if they weren’t relatively small and adjacent to states with large public broadcasters already. source (via • follow)
[Neil Gaiman], who I hate, [is] a pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.Minnesota GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean • Making his case for changing Minnesota’s funding for public broadcasting and the arts so that institutions have to compete for grants, rather than receive standard amounts of appropriated money. The way he exemplified this, though, was to fling mud at science-fiction scribe Neil Gaiman over a four-hour speaking engagement at a Minnesota library, for which he was paid $45,000. Gaiman’s response, via Twitter: “Minnesota Republicans have a “hate” list. Like Nixon did. I’m on it. They also don’t like capitalism.” Gaiman has also said that the money he received was donated to charity. source (via • follow)
…Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio executives earned between $$370,000/year and $1.2 million per year. Regardless of whether or not the non-profit organizations could have found people to work for less money, there is a reasonable question of whether the government should forcibly collect tax dollars from folks earning the median $16/hour wage and feed those dollars to public broadcasting employees earning far more than President Obama.Blogger Philip Greenspun • Noting that PBS and NPR execs do quite well in their jobs. Fascinating perspective, and one that isn’t heard often about the whole PBS/NPR thing. We don’t necessarily agree with stripping their funding, but there is something to be said about how far public broadcasting has come from the days of Mr. Rogers getting a pittance to put together an episode of his show. But on the other hand … let’s not forget about this graphic. And we wonder aloud how much your average executive at a federally-supported defense contractor makes vs. the people setting the strategy for “All Things Considered” and “Frontline.” We’re sure it quickly makes this argument seem silly. (via azspot)
WHEN MR. ROGERS WENT TO CONGRESS: It would have been hard to move men in Senate in 1969 the way Mr. Rodgers did. When President Nixon’s administration wanted to cut spending to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at its infancy, Rodgers approached the senators the only way he knew how.
Mr. Rogers goes to Washington. Viva public media!
If only Mr. Rogers was around today to talk the GOP back into their senses.
I got the impression that [management] felt they had acted rashly and without deliberation. When [Schiller] made the psychiatrist crack, it just made matters much, much worse.An NPR employee • Discussing the feeling they and many of the other staffers had about Juan Williams’ firing earlier this week. In the wake of the firing, which president Vivian Schiller even admitted was poorly-handled, the radio network is in fear that conservatives will choose not to donate to member stations, or worse, that Republicans in Congress will use the situation as an excuse to cut federal funding to member stations, which are much more reliant on it than the mothership. source (via)