On June 16, the House Appropriations Committee voted to slash funding for public broadcasting by more than $200 million for 2006. The cut--which, if implemented, would affect everything from "Clifford the Big Red Dog" to programming on small news outlets that serve rural and minority audiences--marked a devastating blow for public television and radio. The full House is expected to vote as soon as tomorrow.
Worse yet, the June 16 de-funding vote marked just one part of a larger assault on public broadcasting. Bush ally Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), offered the latest example with the revelations that he hired a longtime GOP operative to track "anti-Bush" and "anti-Tom DeLay" comments by the guests of NOW with Bill Moyers. This move prompted Congressional calls for an investigation into charges that Tomlinson had become "a source of political interference" in public broadcasting and helped spark cries for his resignation from a host of public interest groups and politicians.
Free Press is one of a few national groups waging a major battle in defense of public broadcasting. With so much at stake in this debate, Free Press's efforts are more than worthy of support.
Here's what you can do:
Click here to implore your representatives in Congress to vote for full funding for public broadcasting. A vote by the full House on the funding cuts is expected as soon as tomorrow, Thursday. So please contact them TODAY.
Move.On has collected one million signatures calling for full funding of PBS and NPR. Click here to join them.
Click here to sign Free Press's petition calling for Tomlinson to resign.
Click here to send a letter to your local newspaper defending the importance of public broadcasting in a modern democracy.
Click here to become a member of Free Press in order to support its efforts.