Congress Must Reject Bush Plan to Slash Public Broadcasting Money
President Bush’s proposed federal budget includes a cut of approximately $145 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which serves as a source of information for millions of Americans who rely on its diverse viewpoints, hard-hitting investigative journalism and quality children’s programming.
Common Cause urges Congress to restore the 25 percent funding cut to this critical agency and to guarantee forward funding to safeguard National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from those who would try to infringe upon its editorial independence.
“As the nation debates how to proceed in Iraq and many other difficult domestic and foreign issues and enters into another presidential campaign, we need public broadcasting’s fact-based journalism more than ever,” said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. “The $145 million proposed cut is a drop in the bucket of a nearly $3 trillion budget, and it is an investment in democracy.”
Common Cause founder, John Gardner presided over the creation of public broadcasting in his role as Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Common Cause’s 300,000 members and supporters rely on public broadcasting for their news and information and are committed to its editorial independence.
“Public broadcasting opponents arise at each turn of the budget cycle only to hear from thousands of citizens around the country who are hungry for the type of quality programming that commercial broadcasters fail to provide,” Pingree said. “We want to see resources for public broadcasting increase, especially in light of the number of increased channels the digital transition will make available and because of the lack of quality public affairs programming on cable and commercial broadcasters.”