Yes! PBS (and NPR) Ought to Go!
Editor's Note: In light of the recent controversy over the firing of Juan Williams from NPR, we present this timely, archived column from Tibor Machan.
We finally have the right idea about public broadcasting in the air. The New York Times reports that there is now a serious call in Washington for the total abolition or privatization of this wholly inappropriate government supported, partially tax funded medium of Left wing propaganda.
Actually, I don't care how Let wing any national medium happens to be, so long as I am not forced to pay even a penny for its upkeep. There are dozens of very prominent magazines with a Left wing editorial policy – The Nation, Progressive, Mother Jones, Utne Report, The New York Review of Books, to name only the more prominent ones. In the fields of both popular and scholarly publications, the Left still holds prominent sway, despite all the talk about the "collapse of Socialism." But no one is forcing me to subscribe – I do so, when I do so, because I am interested in just how wrong intelligent people can be.
PBS and NPR – National Public Radio – in contrast, are massive broadcast ventures, supported and partly funded by the federal government, from taxes going to, e.g., the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Contrary to what many conservatives complain about, it is not so much the lack of balance in the programming that is so insidious. It is that there exists a first amendment medium that people in this country are forced to pay for.
Of course, it is undeniably true that both PBS and NPR are run for the sake of spreading socialist ideology. These people, contrary to what The New York Times keeps doggedly repeating, are not liberals. A Liberal believes in, for example, civil liberties and equality of opportunity, a free press and fairness, among other things. Liberals lean toward socialism mostly in economic matters. The editorial tone of nearly all PBS and NPR programming is radically socialist and, more recently, fascist – especially when it comes to environmental and feminist matters.
PBS runs innumerable opinion programs, beginning and ending, of course, with all the opportunities Bill Moyers gets for airing his pious laments about the universe. Moyers is no liberal but an agitator for the position that everything that is wrong with the world is due to the United States of America. His repeated intoning about what "we, in this country, are doing to ..." is so tiresome that I simply cannot watch him, even when he interviews people I regard interesting. PBS's several interesting round table programs on various facets of our legal system is also very biased toward the left liberal agenda.
The leaders of these discussions, whose panels do manage to be balanced – if you believe that there are only two viewpoints in America worth telling the viewers about – are nearly all Harvard law professors and their orientation tends always toward leftist moralizing. There are no communists, libertarians, Muslims, Moonies or any other theorists who don't fit the mainstream balance, outside of some militant feminists and multiculturalists on these programs. And, more importantly, no one outside the Eastern educational establishment ever appears on them – which, frankly, annoys me, who teaches at a southern university no one at PBS ever thinks of inviting to appear on their programs.
There are fine things, too, on PBS. And who knows, maybe it does full justice to the intellectual market place, so balance need by no means be the standard by which to judge it. It is only because PBS is a government created and (partially) funded monopoly that I fully support those who are calling for its abolition. I would be even more enthusiastic if NPR got the axe – it has the most whiny, openly Left wing editorial tone among all mainstream media efforts. Its staff have just one voice, that of the smooth, velvety Eastern intellectual. (Just listen and try to find someone with a southern, Bronx or foreign accent, outside a few guest essayists. But then the same phenomenon would not bother me much if found on ABC, CNN or A&E, since I am not made to spend a dime of my life on those.)
Posted by Spurwing Plover on 03/22/11 01:05 AM
Why dose the goverment still squander vast sums of tax payers dollars on this wretched PBS travesty why should we continue to allow this to happen and see the porkers blow away millions and millions of dollars on this wretched PBS stuff which is nothing but leftists propeganda it and NPR need to be totaly defunded and closed down
Posted by Paul P on 02/12/11 12:30 AM
Anyone who uses the phrase "undeniably true" in an opinion piece should be avoided at all costs, becoming the very type of extremist he's railing against.
Furthermore, the very – ahem – "insightful" conclusion citing NPR's whiny tone as reason to cut funding... glass houses, anyone?
Posted by Genevieve OKelley on 11/16/10 12:15 AM
I am a supporter of PBS. I love the English comedies, Masterpiece Theatre, Nova, Antiques Roadshow etc, etc. I don't get too involved with the news on any channel anymore they all stretch the truth to suit themselves. I love that I can watch something that is not all about sex and violence and filled with commercials. I especially liked the Ken Burns Special on our National Parks it was outstanding. I agree with Ksuter keep PBS and get rid of the others.
Posted by Ksuter-a Real Swiss-Amer on 11/14/10 02:36 PM
I also would like to see CBS, NBC and especially Fox removed instead of the very central PBS. If anything I find that PBS seems to favor Right sided news. I also like that the chit chat about movie stars is missing. Who cares about who they are with. I prefer news, news, news and some culture which PBS does a terrific job doing in a very educated mature format. How any educated person can watch the antics of some of the Fox newscasters is beyond belief. How many times they have been caught in out right lies too and then wait a week and start all over with the same lies. Keep PBS and get rid of the others.
Reply from The Daily Bell
PBS doesn't lie?
Posted by Thomas Gasket on 11/08/10 11:49 AM
Thank you,I could't agree more however I never sense any real push for their elimination .
Posted by PJ on 11/07/10 09:23 AM
Oops, I like NPR and PBS. Too bad they can't be a model for corporate news with in-depth stories instead of one news blip after another. Huge plus- I've never been subjected to one news item on B Spears or P Hilton while being told "people just can't get enough on this story." No subjection to fat people losing weight, parets selling their family for money or dancing stars. Reality TV? Really?
Instead- PBS is guilty of presenting travel, cooking, history and perspective on other people and cultures, science, art, music. Some of those callings are and always will be bastions of lefties. Academia is a bastion of lefty. I read the bios on the contributors of this very web page and they apppear suspiciously educated. Bet some of them even wear glasses, know what I mean?
I'd rather see the death of CBS, NBC and Fox broadcast news and be spared the smut they present as news and entertainment. For those of you concerned with the Marxist plan to subvert values, there's your culprit.
I agree with previous poster-Bill on 11/6.
Posted by Mr. Natural.. Boulder,CO on 11/07/10 01:06 AM
Lets have a right wing National Public Radio/Tv too! In addition National Peoples Radio, in the middle of both...with the truth.
Posted by Al Kyder on 11/06/10 11:51 PM
Wrong. That is the role of the citizen-press, not the bureaucracy.
Nonsense, What is the citizen press anyway, did you just make that up? a bunch of bloggers? I dont care if America wants to do things in a strange way, or if it continually fails at it over and over again.
Every other developed country has this kind of service, and it works well. Just because America fails at this too (Like Health care) does not mean the world should follow your example. Other countries are more than capable of failing without American help
Posted by Dennis Murphy on 11/06/10 02:19 PM
DB the article by Dr. Tibor Machan is right on and supported by sensible people. The truth hurts the hard-core Lefties and shows an inherent streak of ignorance and disrespect (as shown by Al Kyder's address of the good Dr.... "Anyway Tibor in case you did not know"). Could it be that Al Kyder is afraid of losing his overpaid/overated position in NPR.
Posted by Robert on 11/06/10 01:49 PM
Excellent article! I am rather pleased to see the well considered opinions that I and many others have formed over the years finally being put forth frequently and in prominent venues such as DB. NPR and PBS are in reality government run propaganda institutions that should never have been created.
I do disagree with you definition of current day 'liberals'; although they pay lip service to freedom, liberty and equal opportunity, etc. their method of realizing it is inevitably via Socialist and Marxist and outright Fascist methodology. They also employ the tactic of "False Guilt" to literally everything in an attempt to intimidate the populace into their way of thinking. Perhaps we have to group 'modern day liberals' into varous sub-groups.
I enjoy your writing style and heartily agree with your findings and position.
Posted by Bill on 11/06/10 01:43 PM
I have watched PBS for 50 years and have never found its reporting to be biased. Given the amount of donated monies and the small government grants that keep it going I certainly perceive it to be a defense against the corporate controlled media we see on most networks. I am convinced this guy is only bent on preserving his material wealth and the plutocracy at large. The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force.
Mein Kampf "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it"
Adolf Hitler quote THE POWER OF THE PRESS
Posted by Paul Neumann on 11/06/10 01:06 PM
I agree with above viewpoint. Australia also has publicly funded television and radio stations: ABC & SBS that also spew out a mainly far-left moralizing/hectoring agenda.
Posted by GIVEMEFREEDOM on 11/06/10 12:16 PM
They've been at it for so long, just the inertia will keep it going until the conservatives in congress pull it's plug. It's a liberal vegetative swamp that needs to be drained. Your critical observations re: the programming and inter-hahvahd grads commenting on each others degrees and specialties is a prize.
NPR, PBS BE GONE! Give me my money back.
Posted by Working Class on 11/06/10 11:50 AM
The corporate media here in the U.S. are collectively a propaganda tool for the Oligarchy. They keep Americans uninformed and divided against one another. When they are not lying to us they are concealing the truth. NPR used to be a counterweight to all that but not any more. They have been co-opted and corrupted over time by constant attacks from the right. Go ahead. Put them out of their misery. We have the internet now.
Posted by Victor Barney on 11/06/10 11:26 AM
Dr. Tibor Machan: I do agree with you! Yes! Yes! Yes! However, that does not fit in with the China-based New World Order System very well, does it?
Posted by Stas on 11/06/10 10:24 AM
Let us stop supporting the progressive, socialistic, communistic,muslim propoganda with our taxed peoples money. The government is not permitted to splurge tax payers money without our permission. They can use their C-span facilities.
Long live Freedom
Posted by True Patriot on 11/06/10 10:08 AM
These 2 Communist Organizations should all be in jail, not on the radio and TV. Yes they need to get kicked out on their own.
They would not last a year. They would fail just like Air America.
NPR (Nazi Progressive Radicals) & PBS (Progressive Ballistic Socialists) are a huge propaganda machine spewing their poison.
The Juan Williams firing has brought them the negative attention they so deserve, however they both need to be shipped to outer Mongolia to spout their lying filth. They should all be in jail, & Totenberg should be cuffed and stuffed first.
Posted by Eyes To See, Ears To Hear on 11/06/10 10:06 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if all media outlets would clearly state their intellectual and political bias, the filters through which they spew forth their "voices". DB does, and usually it also quite thoughtfully provides a definition of terms, which is woefully absent in most other publications whether electronic or paper. In this day and age of instant communication (and lots of it), trying to keep track of the political leanings of the various media outlets is often impossible ... even to discerning eyes or well-tuned ears.
Hey, I've got it: how'z about a rating system like for films? Na-aaaa, who would rate the raters? Maybe DB. Hm-mmmm, or is that what DB is already doing?
Posted by Bill Wolf on 11/06/10 09:37 AM
Dr. you are again so right, we need to seperate Npr, & Pbs, from the feeding tube of mainstream America, if they want to be liberal,let them be suppoerted by their followers.
Posted by Mpresley on 11/06/10 09:37 AM
I remember listening to those Soviet guys. Dialing into the outer bands at night was like entering the Outer Limits. Eerie. And their cold, unemotional voices spewing forth propaganda in between high pitched warbling atmospherically induced electronic oscillations... I kept worrying about having to march out, into the blizzard, in order to get the flame-thrower from the utility shed. You could never tell when THAT might be necessary.
The Russkis were nothing like Click and Clack. But, then again, we didn't have to drive Trabant's either. The old man had a Rambler with tire chains--very modern, and very capitalistic. The seats folded all the way down. On the other hand, Mara Liasson would have fit the format, probably.