Doug Lamborn’s War on Big Bird Resumes Under Trump

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports, the member of Congress perhaps best known for trying to switch the names of Mt. Democrat and Republican Mountain as a Colorado state senator is back to his other cause célèbre–killing off public television:

Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn introduced two resolutions this week that would strip hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding from National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that he says could be better spent on the U.S. military…

Lamborn pointed to a multi-trillion dollar national debt and his perceived need to go to work “rebuilding our military and enhancing our national security” as reasons for again sponsoring such a resolution.

“Republicans and the new Administration need to demonstrate that we take our fiscal responsibility seriously. American taxpayers do not want their hard-earned dollars funding superfluous government programs just because that is the way things have always been done,” Lamborn said in a statement.

He added that the plan wasn’t about the quality of the broadcasters’ programming.

Public television is an easy whipping boy for Republicans looking to demonize “wasteful government spending,” but supporters argue it’s a (comparatively speaking) very small and worthwhile expense. The education and cultural programming on PBS is held to a higher standard than ordinary entertainment fare–and with the possible exception of pledge drive time, it’s hard to find a cross word about PBS from anybody. PBS survived previous Lamborn-instigated attempts to cut off its funding under President Barack Obama, but under the new administration it’s anybody’s guess.

Perhaps we’ve arrived at a time in history when everything you need to know can be found on reruns of The Apprentice?

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Pseudonymous says:

    The war on Big Bird was already won when it signed a contract with HBO. The poors still get episodes 9 months later, but we already abdicated our responsibility to fund quality children's programming for all.

    This is more like the War on Antiques Roadshow.

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      "The poors." Sad but true.

      At least PBS is still free, so those non-premium episodes of Sesame Street can be viewed by "the poors" at all.

      • mamajama55 says:

        I raised my kids on Sesame Street. I do find it sad that kids without cable now have to wait 9 months to get those premier episodes. I guess that at the same time, we should be grateful to HBO for making sure we even have a Sesame Street at all.

        Lamborn probably just doesn't like the science and fact based (read "liberal") grounding of public broadcasting programs. Ken Burns' Civil War series, for example, tells the real story of the Civil War from multiple points of view.  He is not going to call it the War of Northern Aggression, or sentimentalize the confederate flag.

        PBS and CPB, when they run specials on the effects of climate change, talk with real scientists about real data and real changes.

        In Trump world, the only media outlets that should be subsidized by the American taxpayer are those willing to uncritically broadcast the Trump point of view. Voice of America will, unfortunately, soon be a Trump propaganda outlet. I'd guess that Lamborn will not have a problem subsidizing it.



  2. notaskinnycook says:

    You raised your kids on Sesame Street, Mama, and I was raised on it. I'm telling on myself, but I was just the right age for the beginning of Sesame Street. 

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    CPB and NPR have interlinking finances – but the total is less than $500 million per year.

    So, that could pay for 1.5 fighter jets (at the new low low price tag Trump is claiming credit for). Or double the number of military bands. Or nearly double the military's public relations efforts. Or go back into Syria and train another 4 or 5 fighters (not the planes – the individual soldiers). Or buy more "weapons, aircraft, patrol boats and equipment" to lose in Yemen, since we've already lost that amount there.

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