Why do Republicans hate public media? Is it because they’re genuinely afraid it could lead to Communism? Such fear would make no rational sense, given that public television and public radio have been in existence for almost two generations, and not brought the United States closer to living in government-run communes during that time.
Is it because spending on public television and radio are bankrupting the federal government? That would be silly for anyone to claim. It would take 31,381 years for elimination of federal spending on public radio and television to pay off the federal debt. It would take only 15 years for elimination of federal spending on the military to pay off the federal debt. Public media isn’t the source of our nation’s budget problems.
Republicans hate public radio and television because these media sources, flawed as they are by association with corporate underwriters, do the best job in TV and radio in educating Americans about scientific issues. The scientific facts available on public TV and public radio are profoundly irritating to industries and cultural groups that prosper through the exploitation of ignorance.
If you want to see the value of broadcasting simple facts, take a look at the new PBS special: Earth – The Operators’ Manual. In 53 minutes, the show offers a strong, understandable, up to date communication of scientific understanding about climate change and energy alternatives to fossil fuels. That’s threatening to the fossil fuel industry, which would see its profits shrivel if the United States began transitioning to sustainable energy sources at a reasonable pace.