Town Square

Help Senator Feinstein save Sesame Street!

Original post made by Parent of two PBS Kids Fans, Palo Verde, on Aug 4, 2006

Earlier this summer, House Republicans voted to slash NPR and PBS, starting with children's programming like "Sesame Street" and eventually eliminating all federal support. Now the Senate is striking back in support of NPR and PBS, and Senator Dianne Feinstein voted to fully fund public broadcasting.

But since the House and Senate passed different budgets, they'll have to compromise in the fall. We can strengthen Senator Feinstein's resolve by sending her thank-you notes from kids who love "Sesame Street" and other PBS shows.

You can print this NPR and PBS thank-you note, have a kid in your life draw a picture on it, then mail it to Senator Feinstein. Click here for the thank-you note: Web Link

Here's where to send it:

Senator Dianne Feinstein
2500 Tulare Street, Suite 4-290
Fresno, CA 93721

Senator Feinstein is about to head home for the August recess. This is a perfect moment to give her courage to fight for NPR and PBS with a fun thank-you note. Senators really respond to encouragement from constituents.


Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 6, 2006 at 10:00 pm

It might help if some of the millions of dollars Sesame Street took in were used for producion costs.

Posted by Ted Mulvaney
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 7, 2006 at 7:17 am

One might think that the "it's for the children" trope would get old after a while, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There are some great shows on public television, to be sure. Whether or not the government should be funding them is, of course, a different question (if so many people support them, mightn't there be a chance to get private sponsorship?). Furthermore, the "argument" of "save Sesame Street" completely avoids the question that NPR has become so biased that one can only laugh at the new and interesting ways in which they package that bias.

Why should we spend taxpayers' (i.e., yours and mine) money on something so politically one-sided? I have no problems with people spending their money to support their political views. I do have a problem with people expecting me to spend my money to do so.

I think we'd all be a lot better off and more informed if we really had a discussion about government-funded television instead of simply chiming in with "save Grover!"

Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 9, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Add to that the fact that Congress cannot "start" with 'children's programming like "Sesame Street".' At most it can reduce funding for PBS. After that, it is PBS' choice which program or function to eliminate. Same behavior as when any municipal tax cut is proposed, the public is immediately threatened with reductions in police or fire brigade. It is never threatened with reduction of few clerks at the city hall... otherwise the public may actually like it!

Posted by Ken
a resident of Ventura
on Aug 12, 2006 at 7:05 pm

It's always a scam when somebody tells you do something for the "sake of the children." Sesame Street and other kids programs are all associated with for-profit businesses that will continue to bring their programs to the public whether PBS (and CPB) lives or dies.

Like Ted, I also object to having my tax dollars used to broadcast any political messages -- messages I agree with or those I disagree with. That shouldn't be a function of government.

But Feinstein will vote to keep PBS the way it is. Don't worry about that. Her purpose is to make liberals feel good by voting for their pet projects and then, when nobody is looking, quietly push through legislation that will benefit her billionaire husband's many businesses.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2006 at 1:19 pm

Bias, like so many things, is relative. For instance, to a Republican who wishes every network was like Fox News, NPR might seem biased. Then again, so would anything, including the New York Times and Washington Post, who have received plenty of Republican hatred for their supposed bias. I'm sure if the Republicans in Congress had a chance to get rid of the Times, they would take that, too. I don't find the Times biased, and I don't see the bias in NPR either. But then I'm sure the Republicans in question would be quick to call me "biased" as well, and I won't try to argue with them about that.

What I will say is that in this day and age, I think that both NPR and PBS's news programs are a breath of fresh air, not because of their political content but because of the way they present the discussion of political issues.

Compare the "talking heads" debates on PBS's "The News Hour" with any of the countless equivalents on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox News. Even when "The News Hour" puts conservatives against liberals on issues that divide across party lines, the guests speak respectfully to each other, with eloquence and poise, and they never raise their voices or become hostile.

I don't even need to tell how different it is when you get into network cable, where every "debate" show is basically political pro wreslting. These shows have become so predictably hostile that Comedy Central even parodied them on their show "Cross Balls." These shows teach people that the best way to talk to someone with a different opinion than you is to call them names, and we should all demand better.

If it takes my tax dollars to keep shows like "The News Hour" around, I'll be the first in line. I don't know how our country will survive if they leave and all we have left is Bill O'Reilly and his countless imitators.