LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  March 2005

CLASSICAL March 2005

Subject:

Re: Crumbs From The NPR Table

From:

Jon Gallant <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 7 Mar 2005 12:54:49 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (57 lines)

The conservative pundit George F.  Will recently took up public broadcasting
(TV division) in his column, as follows: "Public television is akin to
the body politic's appendix: it is vestigial, purposeless, and occasionally
troublesome.  Of the two arguments for it, one is impervious to refutation
and the other refutes itself.  The impervious argument is: the small
size of the audiences for most of public television's programming #proves#
how necessary public television is.  The big networks gather big audiences
by catering to vulgar cultural tastes, leaving the refined minority an
orphan, because any demand the private market satisfies must be tacky.
The self-refuting argument is: Big Bird.

...But the refined minority, as it sees itself, now has ample television
choices for the rare moments when it is not rereading Proust.  And
successes such as "Sesame Street" easily could find private, tax-paying
broadcast entities to sell them."

Wills' arguments are easy to demolish in the case of radio.  The
wall-to-wall Clear Channels of the commercial band certainly do not
provide ample choices.  We on this List are well aware of the skimpiness
of CM programming, and the near-absence of modern CM programming.  Jazz
is very thinly represented on the commercial band, and folkmusic and
world music are not represented AT ALL on commercial stations.  As for
the fact that successes (like Sesame Street, or St.  Paul Sunday) could
now be marketed commercially, the point is that their initial development
required public broadcasting: Sesame Street was so innovative that no
commercial station would have gone near it.

The fact that government subsidizes innovation which LATER can be exploited
commercially is entirely familiar from such examples as the National
Institutes of Health.  I wonder if George F.  Will favours eliminating
all public funding of science, and leaving biomedical research to the
private sector, as represented perhaps by Pfizer, TAP Pharmaceuticals,
National Medical Enterprises, Columbia HealthCare, Word.Com, and Enron?

Mr Will ends his column on a note that is simultaneously ominous and
revealing: "...Would [public television] vanish without the 15% of its
revenues it gets from the government?  Let's find out." This is ominous
because Mr.  Will speaks for a point of view which currently dominates
the US government.  Perhaps Kevin Sutton will soon get his wish in regard
to public broadcasting.  It is revealing if Will is correct that government
provides only 15% of the revenues of public broadcasting.  Perhaps that
explains precisely what is wrong with it.

I mentioned in a previous post that an improved structure for public
broadcasting in the USA could at least be conceived.  Here it is.  The
structure could be an independent, non-profit corporation like the BBC.
As to its funding, that does not need to come from general tax revenues
at all.  Commercial TV and radio stations are each given monopoly use
of a frequency on the broadcast spectrum, and the government in fact
ENFORCES their monopolies.  Now, the entire broadcast spectrum is a
public resource, but private broadcasters get to coin money from their
monopoly use of a frequency free of charge.  It need not be free of
charge.

Jon Gallant
Department of Gnome Sciences
University of Washington

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager