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Sen. Jim DeMint's latest target: NPR, over Juan Williams firing

 
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 01:01 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
NPR and PBS are a whole lot more "commercial" now than ever before, but there isn't anything inherently beneficial to the common good in non-commercial media.

Maybe not "inherently". But as your good old economics-101 book from your college days will tell you, any good that is non-excludable and non-rival in consumption is most efficiently produced as a public good. Radio and TV are perfect examples of public goods.

The practical evidence confirms econ-101 theory. Just look at actual, democratic countries with well-funded public TV and radio stations. Britain's BBC, Canada's CBC, and Australia's ABC are all much better researched and much more journalistically independent than ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, and NBC. At least that has been my experience as a listener and viewer.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
but an argument that everyone benefits from tax-payer supported news and entertainment media or art is specious at best.

The standard economics-101 argument is specious then?

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Does anyone believe that a national referendum on tax-payer funding of NPR or PBS would result in continued funding?

I don't see why not. Certainly, comparable referenduma in in Australia, Britain, and Canada would triumphantly affirm the ABC, the BBC, and the CBC.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 01:14 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Therefore, in order to support its continuation, a credible argument has to be made that it actually is a benefit to the public at large. Such an argument cannot be made.


It is a huge benefit to anyone who chooses not to or can't afford to subscribe to cable or satellite TV access. PBS programming is the only relief from the constant barrage of broadcast network sitcoms for nitwits and dancing with survivors of big brother makeovers caught on tape "reality" shows.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 01:18 pm
@Butrflynet,
amen
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 01:24 pm
When I was in Germany, I drove past Stuttgart and listened to AFN the Eagle. The US Airforce's radio station for the surrounding military bases. That is state owned radio. The programming on it was mostly entertainment, but also shows on how to manage life on base with your family and spread news about barrack activities, etc.

I guess this public radio should go to.

A
R
T

Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 01:44 pm
@failures art,
Voice of America should probably also be added to the list since it is fully funded by the taxpayers.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 01:50 pm
@Butrflynet,
Hell how about the radio and TV broadcasts to Cuba given to the right wing Miami Cubans as a gift?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 05:10 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Foreign aid is an entirely different matter and so doesn't bear comparison, and yet there are plenty of conservatives who want to reduce the amount our government provides.

There are also plenty of conservatives who are opposed to agricultural ( and other corporate subsidies) -- I'm one of them, but a far better case can be made that a federal effort to financially support American agriculture is in the public interest than supporting so-called public news and entertainment media.

Additionally, and more importantly, none of these other recipients are in a position, through the exercise of their very purpose, of convincing (rightly or wrongly) large swaths of the citizenry that they oppose their fundamental beliefs and interests.

If you hate FOX you don't have to financially support it, but if you hate NPR you do.

If you are honest, you will admit that you could come up with a hundred reasons why the government should not be funding media that you believed ran contrary to your ideology.

And you would be right.

It doesn't matter whether or not the Right's opposition to NPR is paranoid or the Left's support is self-serving, the very fact that either and both are possible argues against government funding.


Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 05:18 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
The entire point is that you only trot out your 'end government funding!' rhetoric against those you perceive to be your political opponents. I rarely if ever see any Conservative vow to end other forms of gov't subsidy, or even discuss them. The failure to do so robs legitimacy from the times you do want to do so, and makes one wonder: do you really give a **** about government funding of various things, or are you just anti-Liberal? Not hard to figure out.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 05:25 pm
@IRFRANK,
Well, I think you are grossly exaggerating whatever the ills SC may have and comparing South Carolinians and SC elected Republicans to Nazis is noxious hyperbole.

People sometimes say stupid things when they get excited, but if you really believe SC is as bad as you have claimed, then I can't imagine why you would stay there. And if it's family, why aren't you dragging them out of there as well? (Maybe they think you're over the top with this thing?)

You certainly are not required to like or even respect your fellow South Carolinians, but if you are letting them see even a small measure of how you, apparently, despise them, my bet is that you need to live like a hermit, because even the good people I know South Carolinians, in general, to be will have good cause to turn their backs on you.

Some people can't be happy anywhere.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 05:38 pm
@Butrflynet,
The "Public" in terms of the notion of the public good is not defined as people who can't stand commercial TV and can't afford cable.

Perhaps you can prove me wrong, but my assumption is that such a specific set of the citizenry is very, very small.

You've included in your set, people who choose not to avail themselves of TV that isn't free.

Are you suggesting that my tax dollars should be spent on a media that they themselves are not willing to pay for, irrespective of what I think about that media?

The quintessential Liberal position.

Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 05:46 pm
@Butrflynet,
Thank you again!

Voice of America clearly has an intent that largely incorporates propaganda, but it is directed towards people in other countries, not American citizens.

When Voice of America starts broadcasting post-modernist crap about America, I'll be all for cutting their funds.


engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2010 05:54 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
You should try living in South Carolina. While SC is not quite as gifted in resources as some states, it should be much better off than it is and they spend all of their free energy perusing right wing ideology instead of trying to get their house in order. They are eating their seed corn instead of raising taxes: laying off droves of teachers when they have one of the worst education systems in the country and letting their infrastructure crumble. Off the interstates, you can tell when you cross the state line from NC to SC because the quality of the road degrades so much. There are a couple of bright spots around Greenville/Spartanburg but overall, SC is going downhill and the speed of that decline is accelerating.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 01:49 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

If you hate FOX you don't have to financially support it, but if you hate NPR you do.

When I can choose which wars I fund, I'll let you choose whether or not the CPB cand award grants to NPR.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 05:55 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
There are also plenty of conservatives who are opposed to agricultural ( and other corporate subsidies) -- I'm one of them, but a far better case can be made that a federal effort to financially support American agriculture is in the public interest than supporting so-called public news and entertainment media.

No it can't. Wheat and pig bellies are rival in consumption, whereas broadcasting is not: You and I can't eat the same bushel of wheat, but we can watch the same broadcast of your favorite TV show. Moreover, agricultural products are non-excludable: If Cycloptichorn pays for his pig bellies and I don't, you can keep delivering to him and refuse delivery to me. You couldn't do that in broadcasting. If you broadcast your show to Cycloptichorn, you inevitably broadcast it to me too. That, after all, is what makes it a broadcast. In economics-101 parlance, then, food is a private good, whereas broadcasting is a public good. Therefore the case for public broadcasting is stronger than the case for public food production. You simply choose to ignore the ideologically inconvenient part of your freshman economics textbook.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Additionally, and more importantly, none of these other recipients are in a position, through the exercise of their very purpose, of convincing (rightly or wrongly) large swaths of the citizenry that they oppose their fundamental beliefs and interests.

Why not? Their purpose is to make a profit by attracting eyeballs as cheaply as possible, and selling them out to advertisers as dearly as possible. Given enough advertisers whose private interests are at odds with the public good, and who have the money to pay for commercials, why wouldn't commercial TV stations turn into propaganda machines against their viewers' interests? They would only be following the money--"their very purpose", as you put it.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 09:35 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
Given enough advertisers whose private interests are at odds with the public good, and who have the money to pay for commercials, why wouldn't commercial TV stations turn into propaganda machines against their viewers' interests? They would only be following the money--"their very purpose", as you put it.


I believe you have unintentionally described the Cable news industry.

Cycloptichorn
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 09:38 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I don't think it was unintentional.

A
R
T
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 09:40 am
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

I don't think it was unintentional.

A
R
T


I almost put a (?) in.

I think that Conservatives just plain don't like NPR's reporting on them, such as this piece, which highlights how the Arizona illegal immigrant law was conceived of and written by the for-profit prison industry and sold to Arizona legislators as a money-making operation:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130833741

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 09:49 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
Given enough advertisers whose private interests are at odds with the public good, and who have the money to pay for commercials, why wouldn't commercial TV stations turn into propaganda machines against their viewers' interests? They would only be following the money--"their very purpose", as you put it.


I believe you have unintentionally described the Cable news industry.

Cycloptichorn


Both of you seem to forget that the Federal Communications Commission requires broadcasters to act in the public interest. However, as with so much law, it's only going to be enforced if someone goes to court. But the FCC does provide a review process both by Federal employees and for members of the public.

Quote:
In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license.


Source at the Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.

Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 09:51 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Both of you seem to forget that the Federal Communications Commission requires broadcasters to act in the public interest.


I certainly didn't; that's why I wrote "....described the Cable news industry." I don't believe the FCC has the power to regulate Cable channels, because they aren't broadcast over a public medium.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 09:55 am
@Cycloptichorn,
You may be right about that, although it would be necessary to research it. I do believe, though, that even cable providers are required to obtain that "very valuable license." For example, Ted Turner got fined again and again for not meeting the public interest with news from his TBS Atlanta Superstation, which is why he created CNN.

Nevertheless, i suspect that conservatives have slapped down the FCC again and again, and gutted their budget. I doubt if they have sufficient employees to keep up a reasonable inspection schedule. When you look at the big radio corporations, and how little they serve the public interest, you gotta wonder how it got so bad.
0 Replies
 
 

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