In just four days, a coalition of media watchdog and progressive groups, including MoveOn.org, CREDO and Free Press, have collected more than one million signatures opposing the Republican plan to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The $430 million in federal funding for CPB amounts to just $1.39 per person, but Republicans who’ve long sought to defund public broadcasters are coming after NPR and PBS nonetheless. Phone calls are now reportedly pouring into Congress urging all members to restore federal funding for NPR, PBS and other public media.
“This is clearly political, not budgetary,” said Timothy Karr, campaign director at Free Press. “Every time the GOP is in power, they offer a new measure to kill public broadcasting. But there’s something they don’t take into consideration—the American people love public broadcasting. Poll after poll shows that NPR and PBS are the most trusted sources for news and information. Parents trust programs like Sesame Street to help their kids learn. And in some parts of the country, public media are the only source for local news. Republicans in Congress would do themselves and their constituents a service if they’d focus on solving the economic mess instead of posturing about public TV and radio.”
“If House Republicans think they can push their agenda past the vast numbers of Americans who enjoy and rely upon public media, they’re in for a surprise,” said Becky Bond, CREDO Action political director. “Defunding NPR, PBS and other public media has long been on the wish list of the right wing, and now an extremist Congress is poised to grant that wish. But more than 1,000,000 MoveOn, CREDO Action and Free Press members, along with millions of other Americans, are drawing the line and defending our public media."
Daniel Mintz, campaign director at MoveOn.org, says the GOP’s focus on cuts for NPR and PBS is just the latest example of their disastrous priorities.
“It’s hard to understand why Republicans are focused on attacking Big Bird instead of creating jobs," said Mintz. "Unfortunately, this assault on public broadcasting is just one sign of how out of step they are with the American public. The Republican budget would decimate dozens of government programs that hundreds of millions of Americans rely on, and that's exactly the wrong way to get America back on track. MoveOn members will be fighting them every step of the way."
Earlier today, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) announced plans to introduce an amendment to the continuing resolution bill that would restore federal funding to public media. A vote on this measure could happen as soon as Wednesday evening.
To view the petitions, click the links below.
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