Letters To The Editor


July 05, 2005

Funds for CPB help citizens stay informed

There is a lot of government spending I'd like to see ended, but not money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ("End taxpayer funding of public broadcasting," Opinion * Commentary, June 27).

David Boaz's argument that we don't need to subsidize one more channel in a "500-channel world" is specious because the majority of those channels are owned by a very few very large corporations - all driven by the bottom line.

The result has been a diminished quality of broadcasting and scope of information available - much of it trivial, shallow, divisive, commercial-saturated and repetitive.

Market-driven broadcasting is not providing the in-depth civil discussion of issues necessary for an informed citizenry in a democracy.

Also, other than public broadcasting, there is no provider of children's educational programs that doesn't sell them lots of sugar or other equally useless or harmful products.

And for Mr. Boaz to argue that "the middle class is taxed to pay for news and entertainment for the upper-middle class" is likewise specious.

First, the amount of money we're talking about is minuscule in the scheme of the federal budget.

Second, since the wealthiest Americans pay the largest percentage of taxes and got the largest tax cut, doesn't it follow that they are paying for the major part of the funding?

Judy Merrill


NPR, PBS combat bias of marketplace

David Boaz claims government-sponsored broadcasting is bound to be biased ("End taxpayer funding of public broadcasting," Opinion * Commentary, June 27). But I think his real gripe is that National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System have escaped the pro-government bias that infects all corporate-funded broadcasting.

That's why he wants to cut off funds and let public broadcasting "make its own way in the marketplace."

But the corporate marketplace is home to the sort of bias that Mr. Boaz and other Cato Institute folks approve of: pro-administration, pro-business, pro-Bush bias.

And in trying to drum up support for his cause, Mr. Boaz invokes the tired, old (and false) charge that public broadcasting serves only the liberal, upper-middle class.

Tell that to the housewives in Kansas and Missouri, to the 6-year-old Sesame Street fans in Baltimore and to countless shut-ins across the nation who rely on public radio to keep them company and, as my father used to say, "keep the old brain ticking."

Dianne Ganz Scheper


Public broadcasting remains a bargain

Robert Shuman's column supporting continuing federal support of public television was a breath of fresh air ("The public square," Opinion * Commentary, June 28).

The fact that a Roper poll recently found Americans rank federal support for public television second only to defense as the best use of their tax dollars speaks volumes. And at an annual cost of a dollar per American, federal support for public broadcasting is a bargain.

Public broadcasting - educational and commercial-free - has earned the public trust with programming that for-profit companies are unable or unwilling to provide.

S. M. Schmidt


Schools must quash all forms of bullying

It's great news that Maryland laws on school bullying went into effect Friday ("Laws on parkland, bullying go into effect," June 30).

But it's unfortunate that Maryland's law seems to be concerned, according to The Sun, only if the "harassment and intimidation of students by other students" is "on grounds such as race, religion, gender and sexual orientation."

What if your ears stick out, or you're too tall, or your mother left you in a basket at the church? Are those acceptable reasons for bullying?

Bullying must not be considered a normal plight of childhood - or any other part of life.

Kerch McConlogue


Education on sex belongs in the home

I have heard much talk about the need for sex education for our children. I agree that this is a good idea, as children should know and understand why they feel as they do.

However, I very strongly believe this must be kept completely clean. Under no conditions whatsoever should they be exposed to pornography or anything dirty or indecent.

And the schools should not get involved in instructing children in such matters. This is one area whose domain is the home.

Judson M. Brandes


Accounts of speech betray liberal bias

The Sun, which has a long history of a hard-left lean, stepped completely over the line into the realm of biased and subjective reporting in its June 29 edition.

The Sun's front-page story on the previous evening's address to the nation by President Bush was replete with the usual anti-administration slant, using the selective emphasis and innuendoes we have come to expect from The Sun ("Iraq war vital to U.S. safety, Bush declares," June 29).

That wasn't surprising, considering The Sun's anti-anything-Republican editorial policy that has been clear and obvious for a very long time. Rather, it was to be expected.

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