Last Monday Steve Yasko, my colleague at WTMD (“Radio for Music People”), offered his thoughts in an article for the Baltimore Sun. WTMD is a licensee of Twoson University, just north of Baltimore with a format including indie/alt rock and country music. Steve’s argument? The radio station’s connection with the local music scene, and its vital role in the community’s cultural landscape. Yasko also looks beyond his specific region to illuminate the oft-overlooked responsibility public broadcasting has in America’s musical life.
Later in the week NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik (a Baltimore Sun vet reporter, by the way) talked with Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) who authored the bill to de-fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Lamborn agrees that CPB’s ($430 million) funding allotment is a relatively small part of the larger budget picture but at a time of trillion-dollar deficits he believes it’s time for public broadcasting to be self-sustaining.
NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday this morning spoke with Reps. Frank Guinta (R-NH) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA) about the stopgap funding measure passed on Friday to prevent a government shutdown. Becerra’ voted against the two-week funding measure: “We’re here to solve some big problems and in terms of the deficit, you have to have a longterm vision and this is not longterm vision to take 218 kids out of HeadStart so you can cut deficits caused by unfunded wars and very, very bad tax policy that helped very wealthy folks.”
For some persective: this nation is 9 years into two illegal wars with $900 billion – billion – dollars spent or approved to be spent through November of last year, according to the latest stats available various think tanks including the Brookings Institution. (Every American citizen should take the time to review these monthly reports – it’s free information, it’s comprehensive, it’s eye-opening, and it’s YOUR MONEY they’re talking about.)
Can we please have an honest conversation about this as a nation and really look at the longterm picture here?