June 24, 2005: HAH!!! NPR not entirely erased by the Republican Preponderance

There’s a lot still to do – but with luck the Senate will have figured out it’s political suicide to try and kill PBS.

Now, if we can just convince people that a part of free speech is the ability to take on our country’s symbols, and we’ll be all set!

Dang. I need a Rabid Democratic Political Commentary Icon.

AARRRROOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Dear MoveOn member,

In an unexpected move yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives
approved a measure to restore $100 million of funding for NPR, PBS and local
public stations.1 Republican leaders were proposing to slash $200
million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but you helped stop
them.

Everyone said it was impossible to reverse any of the House cuts with
Republicans in control. Yesterday’s Washington Post described the divide
between Democrats and Republicans like this:

“[O]n Capitol Hill, it’s hard to find a Republican with anything
nice to say about National Public Radio or the Public Broadcasting Service.
Instead, they denounce them as liberal and elitist, when they bother to talk
about them at all.”
2

Public broadcasting shouldn’t divide Republicans and Democrats. More
Americans trust NPR and PBS for balanced news and children’s programming than
any commercial network.3 Yet many Republicans have been intent on
either gagging or starving public broadcasting.

So why did 87 Republicans break with the majority of their party and vote to
restore the funding? In large part, because over 1 million of you signed the
petition calling on Congress to reverse course. And over 40,000 of you made
phone calls to your elected representatives. There was a surge of public outrage
that couldn’t be ignored. This victory was possible because we were joined by
Free Press, Common Cause and strong allies in the House—Representatives Markey,
Obey, Lowey, Dingell, Hinchey, Watson, Schakowsky, Blumenauer, Eshoo, Slaughter,
and Leach, a brave Republican.

Despite this incredible progress, the House Republicans did manage to cut
over $100 million, including funding for children’s programming like “Sesame
Street.” We’ll take our fight to the Senate when it considers the budget later
this summer. But yesterday’s vote makes it much more likely we can restore every
last cent for NPR and PBS by acting together.

Yesterday also brought darker news in the fight for public broadcasting. The
Republican-dominated board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
hired a former Republican National Committee chair as the next president,
injecting partisanship into the very organization designed to shield public
broadcasting from political meddling.4 This is only the latest effort
by White House ally and CPB board chair Kenneth Tomlinson to remake public
broadcasting as a partisan mouthpiece. To save NPR and PBS, we’ll need to take
on Tomlinson, but today we showed that the public can and will defend public
broadcasting from partisan attack.

For now, we have a lot to be thankful for. Our kids can keep learning from
PBS’ children’s programming. We can keep enjoying public broadcasting’s
in-depth, trustworthy news and cultural offerings. Most of all, we can be
thankful for the ability of ordinary people to band together and do
extraordinary things.

Thank you, for all you do,

–Noah, Joan, Marika, Wes and the MoveOn.org Team
Friday, June 24th,
2005

P.S. Your Congressman, Rep. Wynn, voted the right way on NPR and PBS
funding.5 You can call to thank him at 202-225-8699.

Please let us know if you call at:

http://www.moveon.org/call?tg=FHMD_04&cp_id=42&id=5703-5792651-An0fzJIyPCB75PsY_p6fHg

Sources:
1. “House votes to keep most PBS funding intact,” USA
Today
, June 23, 2005
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-06-23-pbs-funding_x.htm

2. “Opponents On Different Wavelengths,” Washington Post, June 23,
2005
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202294.html

3. “CPB’s ‘Secrets and Lies’: Why the CPB Board Hid its Polls Revealing Broad
Public Support for PBS and NPR,” Center for Digital Democracy, April 27,
2005
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=746

4. “Public Broadcasting Chief Is Named, Raising Concerns,” New York
Times
, June 24, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/politics/24broadcast.html

5. Roll Call Vote in House of Representatives (An “aye” vote is the right
vote.)
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll305.xml

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