Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why don't we have public broadcasting like this in USA?

Weeks before the 2003 U.S./British invasion of Iraq, the BBC's Jeremy Paxman and skeptical British citizens literally cross-examined Prime Minister Tony Blair about evidence/reasons/legality behind the invasion -- an interview whose transcript and Blair's comments became part of Britain's official Iraq inquiry in 2011. (Here's another tough Paxman interview of Blair from 2001 . . . unrelated to Iraq. And here, Paxman interviews comedian/actor/activist Russell Brand in Oct. 2013.) 

In our country, pressure from politicians + lack of insulated funding = embarrassing timidity at so-called "public television"...as evidenced by PBS surgically removing Tina Fey's comedic swipes at Sarah Palin from a broadcast in November 2010.

Country by country comparisons (18 nations) of taxpayer spending on public television here (as of 2011) -- according to this survey by CBC/Radio-Canada. An interesting wheel-chart on NPR's funding sources (thanks Rae).

DOES IT FOLLOW THAT big public/state/taxpayer-funding of broadcasting leads to state-controlled and propagandistic broadccasting? Not according to the World Press Freedom Index, which shows the countries with the biggest media subsidies seem to have the greatest press freedom. 

On this list of 60 journalists and pundits (on the right, left and center) attacked by Trump by name during the 2016 campaign, only one was connected to NPR.  Of the 20 outlets he attacked by name, neither NPR nor PBS was one 

In Feb 2015 a mini-scandal blew up over corporate underwriting of U.S. public TV and I was interviewed on the topic by The Real News Network. 

No comments:

Post a Comment