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Moyers a flash point in balance talks led by CPB
Current ^ | 7/14/03 | Karen Everhart

Posted on 07/15/2003 3:20:02 AM PDT by Drango

Moyers a flash point in balance talks led by CPB

Originally published in Current, July 14, 2003
By Karen Everhart

CPB has revived debate within public TV about balance and fairness in public affairs programs, citing specifically Bill Moyers' dual roles of host and uninhibited commentator on his Friday-night PBS show.

After a vigorous debate among station reps and producers June 9 [2003] at the PBS Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, CPB President Bob Coonrod proposed to broaden discussions within public TV on standards of fairness. In a widely circulated letter exchange with PBS President Pat Mitchell, he put topics from the session--including Moyers' roles--on the agenda for future talks between the two.

"Specific notions of fairness, or perceptions of fairness, may vary by individual or by region, but the overall message was clear: There is a deep and abiding interest among our colleagues to try to 'get it right,'" Coonrod wrote. After participants in the session screened a Moyers commentary from Now, "there was serious discussion . . . of the conflict--actual and perceived--between journalism and commentary." Coonrod asked to discuss the issue with Mitchell.

In her June 27 response, Mitchell wrote that she supported fully Moyers' First Amendment right "to give his own opinions on all matters, and when those opinions are within a program on PBS, to clearly label them as commentary." But PBS must be "all the more vigilant about ensuring balance and objectivity in this role as host and interviewer," she said.

Fairness, balance and objectivity are journalistic standards that carry special weight for pubcasters. The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 authorized the nascent CPB to fund high-quality programming from diverse sources with "strict adherence to balance and objectivity in all programs . . . of a controversial nature." In addition, the law called on CPB to protect pubcasters "from interference with or control of program content or other activities." It also forbade CPB-funded stations from editorializing--a restriction overturned by the Supreme Court in 1984.

In 1992, the last time Congress reauthorized the act, lawmakers required CPB to take new steps to ensure balance and objectivity in programming. These included:

The CPB Board began re-examining its efforts to meet these requirements more than a year ago, Coonrod said in an interview. As a result, CPB improved operation of its telephone comment line, sponsored conference sessions similar to the one in Miami Beach, and financed a forthcoming rewrite of public radio's ethical guidebook.

In November, shortly after Moyers' post-election commentary roiled conservatives, the CPB Board unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring program balance (earlier story). "It is especially important in these extraordinary times for public broadcasting to provide information to the public about issues of national import in a manner that represents multiple points of view," the resolution stated. At that time board members spoke out against program bias but didn't connect their remarks to Now with Bill Moyers, a series that receives no CPB backing.

CPB then took additional steps to broaden the range of opinions represented on public TV. In a reorganization early this year, CPB appointed Michael Pack, a filmmaker who documented the mid-1990s rise and fall of Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich in two PBS films, as chief program executive.

CPB and PBS agreed to jointly commission a new Friday night series to pair with Now. The show, still in development, is intended to balance Moyers' views, according to two producers who spoke with PBS execs about the concept.

In an interview, Coonrod said CPB's stepped-up activities to ensure balance aren't a direct response to increased complaints on Capitol Hill, although he acknowledged, "this is the kind of thing where people have strong views." Lawmakers repeatedly bring up the issue in committee meetings and hearings, he said.

"It's their role to remind us of our obligation and it's our obligation to take it seriously," Coonrod added. "The way for us to take it seriously is to create opportunities for people in public radio and television to take it seriously."

While definitions of fairness vary widely within public TV, Coonrod was encouraged by the debate in Miami Beach. "We ought to create more opportunities for the professionals in public broadcasting to have these conversations," he said.

Can a journalist express opinions?

Judging from the debate in Miami Beach, there's some discomfort in public TV that PBS permits Moyers' strong critiques of the conservative agenda.

PBS closed the session to press coverage, but panelists and attendees recounted the discussion in interviews with Current.

Dave Iverson, executive director of Best Practices in Journalism, moderated the session titled "Balance in Broadcasting: What’s Fair?" and presented scenarios of not-very-hypothetical programs or situations that challenge notions of balance and fairness. Scenarios dealt with point-of-view programs and outside pressures that threaten a station's editorial integrity. According to several accounts, a commentary on patriotism and the flag from Now prompted strong reactions from the panelists and audience members.

In the commentary, delivered on the Feb. 28 edition of Now, Moyers described how the flag had been "hijacked and turn into a logo--the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism." He questioned why President Bush and Vice President Cheney sported flag pins during the State of the Union address. "How come? No administration's patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies."

Iverson presented a clip of the remarks and asked panelists whether program hosts should be allowed to deliver commentaries. "I wouldn't say there was unanimity on that," he recalled.

Several panelists and members of the audience said hosts must choose between maintaining their objectivity as journalists and delivering strongly worded opinions. Others said the audience is smart enough to distinguish between the two roles and that commentary helps viewers see through the obfuscations of politicians.

"I was critical of his stepping into" the role of commentator, said panelist Joyce Davis, deputy foreign editor for Knight-Ridder Newspapers and a former NPR editor. "Part of the problem is [Moyers] was so good. If you liked what he said you were `Rah, rah!' If not, it raised the hair on the back of your neck."

"There's a line in news that is clearly defined," said Rick Jones, program director at WJCT in Jacksonville. "At a newspaper you're a journalist or an opinion writer, but not both."

Jones thinks Moyers' commentaries undercut the solid journalism of his program. To conservative viewers in his market, Moyers' commentary at the end of some Now programs "basically provides an excuse for viewers to disregard what happened in the previous 50 minutes of the program and say, 'I knew all along he was one of those.'"

David Kanzeg, director of programming at WVIZ in Cleveland, said the truths that Moyers spoke within the commentary didn't require balancing. Helping viewers see through the manipulation of images and mediate the ideological extremes of political discourse is a journalistic service that pubcasting audiences will value.

"Neither the left nor the right has any truth anymore," Kanzeg told Current. "They're articulating extremes to the absence of value. That's not a healthy sign. As the political life in this country deals more with nonsense, people rely on us more to cut through it and illuminate the truth rather than a strict he said/she said," he added. Producers at Now don't see a conflict in Moyers' role as host and commentator, said Judy Doctoroff, executive in charge, a panelist at the session. "As long as the commentary is clearly labeled and factually based, it is another important forum for conveying information to viewers."

Moyers: It's not the commentaries

Moyers said the issue of his Now commentaries is a "red herring." He's written and delivered only 26 commentaries since the weekly show debuted 18 months ago. The "real story--one that's difficult for our colleagues in Washington to talk about--is that Now covers stories that others won't touch, stories about how politics really works ..." he said in an e-mail to Current. "Powerful vested interests, of course, don't like strong, credible, fact-based truth telling, and they turn to their cohorts in Congress to protest. To their credit, PBS officials have stood the heat and are still in the kitchen."

He said partisan critics had been offended by Now's reporting on a secret expansion of the Justice Department's powers of surveillance and investigation, conflicts of interest at the top of the Interior Department, the court battle over Vice President Cheney's energy plan, and the influence of campaign contributions on legislation and policy. "None of this has endeared us--or PBS--to the powers that be," he wrote. But it is Now's reporting on the FCC's new ownership rules that "has really stirred the hornet's nest and made some very powerful people uncomfortable," he wrote. He cites Fox network owner Rupert Murdoch as an example. Murdoch, who stands to benefit from TV deregulation, also owns the Weekly Standard, which has criticized Moyers repeatedly.

Issues of fairness and balance are "a tough thing for journalists in general and public broadcasters in particular," said Davis. Those working for commercial media wonder whether advertisers' influence interferes with their journalism, while pubcasters have to "deal with keeping politicians happy or making them unhappy," she said.

"I think at this time in journalism in general, we have a burden to err on the side of extreme caution," Davis added. Attacks on editorial standards of the New York Times during the Jayson Blair imbroglio were "so profound" that public faith in journalism sank to new lows.

"One thing that bothers me is that we've been statutorily required to maintain balance for years and years, and we know how to do it," commented WVIZ's Kanzeg. "But the rest of broadcasting is tilting to the right and we appear to be tilting to the left in the eyes of the population." This puts more heat on CPB, making it harder to maintain the firewall protecting public broadcasting's editorial integrity, he said.

It may be impossible to satisfy every viewer, however, since fairness and objectivity are, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder.

The press is allowing the principle of objectivity "to make us passive recipients of news, rather than aggressive analyzers and explainers of it," wrote Brent Cunningham, managing editor of Columbia Journalism Review in the magazine's July/August issue.

Cunningham told Current that journalists are increasingly sensitive to complaints about biased reporting. "A cottage industry of bias police has sprung up in recent years, and they really are exploiting the complicated relationship that journalists have with objectivity," he said.

Moyers makes valuable contributions to broadcast journalism, he said. "If you look at his work, he's doing legitimate investigations. I've never seen anything to prove that he's doing it for ideological or political reasons, Cunningham said.

"When you're doing good journalism, ideology is not the driving force, no matter what your personal point of view," he added.



TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: defundnpr; defundpbs; defundpbsnpr; liberalelites; mediabias; moyers; pbs; publicbroadcasting; purebs; taxdollarsatwork; youpayforthis
David Kanzeg, director of programming at WVIZ in Cleveland, said the truths that Moyers spoke within the commentary didn't require balancing

Say what?

1 posted on 07/15/2003 3:20:02 AM PDT by Drango
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To: aculeus; Fresh Wind; kesg; m1911; Tamsey; Tigercap; WorkingClassFilth; weegee; Loyal Buckeye; ...
*NPR/PBS ping

If you want on or off this *NPR/PBS* ping list, please FReepmail me or just bump the thread AND indicate your desire to be included. You must opt in! Don't be shy!
This is a low to moderate activty list.

2 posted on 07/15/2003 3:21:51 AM PDT by Drango (Just 5 a day will end pledge drives on FreeRepublic.)
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To: All
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender comes up and says "Hey pal, what will it be?"

The horse orders a beer.

A few minutes later, John Kerry walks in and sits at the bar. The bartender walks up and says "Hey pal, cheer up. Why the long face?"

I'll stop if you guys will donate and get us over our fundraising goal

3 posted on 07/15/2003 3:23:15 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Drango
CPB and PBS agreed to jointly commission a new Friday night series to pair with Now. The show, still in development, is intended to balance Moyers' views, according to two producers who spoke with PBS execs about the concept.

Everytime there is a controversy, Public Broadcasting promises to do something "in the future" and they promise to stop doing it. It's like Lucy promising Charlie Brown she won't pull the football away.


4 posted on 07/15/2003 3:47:23 AM PDT by Drango (Just 5 a day will end pledge drives on FreeRepublic.)
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To: Drango
It may be impossible to satisfy every viewer, however, since fairness and objectivity are, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder.

In other words, objectivity is subjective.

5 posted on 07/15/2003 3:50:34 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: Drango
Defund CPB Now!
6 posted on 07/15/2003 5:07:53 AM PDT by Doctor Raoul (The "Anti-War Leaders" Have Blood On Their Hands, look and you'll find, they are NOT anti-war)
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To: Drango
Real fairness would be to end government funding of public broadcasting and all the charitable foundations all together--and make them pay back the money they've received over the past 30 years.
7 posted on 07/15/2003 5:25:30 AM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: Drango
A MODEST COLLECTION OF BILL MOYERS' WISDOM…

"Last year, a year ago this month, the right-wingers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington teamed up with deep pocket bankers, some of whom support the Heritage Foundation, to stop the United States from cracking down on terrorist money havens. I'm not making this up, it's all on the record....The President of the powerful Heritage Foundation spent an hour with Treasury Secretary O'Neill, Texas bankers pulled their strings at the White House, and, Presto!, the Bush administration pulled out of the global campaign to crack down on dirty money. How about that for patriotism? Better terrorists get their dirty money than tax cheaters be prevented from evading national law. And this from people who wrap themselves in the flag and sing 'America the Beautiful' with tears in their eyes. Bitter? Yes."
- Bill Moyers in a Jan. 4 speech at the LBJ library in Austin, Texas, quoted by the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes in a Feb. 25 cover story on Moyers, "PBS's Televangelist: Bill Moyers Preaches On...And On."

"It concerns me more that Kenneth Lay is meeting secretly with the Vice President than it concerned me that President Clinton was meeting secretly with Monica Lewinsky."
- Bill Moyers' comment to feminist author Katie Roiphe on PBS's Now, February 8.

"Next week, over 100 heads of state will meet in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their goal is to search for ways to save the Earth's life support system - our water, air and soil. Ten years ago they gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the same purpose, but United Nations studies reveal the Earth's environment is still in decline. So the leaders of every major industrial country will be in Johannesburg next week, except for George W. Bush. That makes his core constituents quite happy: Representatives of the religious right, conservative activists and big companies like ExxonMobil wrote the President this week praising him for not going to the summit. They also asked him to make sure American officials...keep the issue of global warming off the table. It's all part of a pattern. The Bush administration is carrying on what the Los Angeles Times this week called 'the most concerted exploitation of the public's land, air and water since fundamental protection laws went into effect three decades ago.'"
- Moyers on Now with Bill Moyers, August 23. [42]

"The entire federal government - the Congress, the executive, the courts - is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. "Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture...."So it's a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don't forget the money....Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price."
- Bill Moyers' commentary at the end of his PBS show Now on November 8, the Friday after Republicans won control of the Senate in midterm elections.

IN RECENT NEWS…

Bill Moyers, a public television personality, former deputy director of the Peace Corps and one of the most influential journalists in the U.S. for his work on PBS, was arrested Saturday night on Route 7A and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Mr. Moyers, one of the most influential journalists in the U.S., swerved repeatedly across the centerline of the road and had trouble negotiating a curve, according to Trooper Travis Kline of the Vermont State Police. Kline said he pulled Moyers, one of the most influential journalists in the U.S., over a short distance south of the Route 313 intersection.

Moyers, one of the most influential journalists in the U.S., served as deputy director of the Peace Corps under President John Kennedy and as President Lyndon B. Johnson's press secretary from 1965 to 1967. He is regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the U.S. for his work on PBS.

After hearing about Moyers' career, arresting officer Kline said, "We don't judge people…It doesn't matter if you're a movie-star or a next-door neighbor. People make mistakes. It's human, I guess."

A roadside breath test showed Moyers' blood-alcohol content to be .10. The legal limit is .08. A follow-up test at the barracks about 1 1/2 hours later showed Moyers' blood-alcohol content had dropped to .079 - within the legal limit. But police calculate how much alcohol would have left the driver's system in the time after the arrest and take that into account, Kline said.

"Not only was I observing the speed limit," Moyers wrote, "but my companions - my wife and two friends - testified they had detected no signs of any problem with my driving, and that I appeared to be in full control of my faculties, as indeed I was. I intend to contest the charges." Moyers is one of the most influential journalists in the U.S.

Moyers, one of the most influential journalists in the U.S., in a faxed statement Thursday said that "I intend to contest the charge,"

Moyers, one of the most influential journalists in the U.S., said that he had left a friend's birthday party around 10 p.m., just before his arrest Saturday. He admitted to the arresting officer he had drunk a glass of champagne and "a small amount of wine" at the party, Moyers wrote.

Moyers served as deputy director of the Peace Corps under President John Kennedy and as President Lyndon B. Johnson's press secretary from 1965 to 1967. He is regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the U.S. for his work on PBS.
8 posted on 07/15/2003 5:48:37 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: ConsistentLibertarian
PING!
9 posted on 07/15/2003 5:50:52 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: Drango
(Moyers) Powerful vested interests, of course, don't like strong, credible, fact-based truth telling, and they turn to their cohorts in Congress to protest.

**
That's right, Moyers. It's the reason you and the rest of the Rats whine about talk radio. What an arrogant piece of clinton!
10 posted on 07/15/2003 6:42:35 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Bush/Cheney in '04 and Tommy Daschole out the door)
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To: WorkingClassFilth; Drango
I enjoyed your posts :-) One small comment I would like to add for battling any liberals on this issue... how would liberals react if suddenly Fox News became a government funded entity and they were forced to pay for it through their own taxes? I could care less that PBS caters to the left, but it is a blow to conservatives' freedom of speech to be forced to pay for it.
*******

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute of Religious Freedom, 1779

11 posted on 07/15/2003 7:38:34 AM PDT by Tamzee (Peace is the prerogative of the victorious, not the vanquished.... Churchill)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Your post about Mr. Moyers, one of the most influential journalists in the U.S., was really funny.
12 posted on 07/15/2003 8:47:55 AM PDT by zeugma (Hate pop-up ads? Here's the fix: http://www.mozilla.org/ Now Version 1.4!)
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To: Bob J
ping
13 posted on 07/15/2003 8:49:36 AM PDT by bert (Don't Panic!)
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To: Tamsey
how would liberals react if suddenly Fox News became a government funded entity and they were forced to pay for it through their own taxes?

Exactly...liberals who claim they support "public" funding suddenly don't, if the hypothetical group is like Fox or even worse someone like Pat Robertson and the 700 Club.

14 posted on 07/15/2003 8:53:18 AM PDT by Drango (Just 5 a day will end pledge drives on FreeRepublic.)
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To: Drango
Public television is still around? I seem to get everything with my dish, but no PBS channels. Not that I miss it, mind you, because any good programming has been picked up by HGTV/TLC/History/BBC/NOGIN/etc etc.

If they want me to watch, maybe they should replace Moyers "now" with R Lee Emery
15 posted on 07/15/2003 10:23:10 AM PDT by FreepOnTheBorderlands
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To: Doctor Raoul
Defund CPB Now!

Dr,

You must go further. The chunk of the broadcast spectrum carved out with public funds by CPB and all of it’s tentacles is enormous and valuable.

Auction off all of the bandwidth to the highest bidder who can use only non-tax exempt funds. The leftists will scream, but the concept of taxpayer-funded media is a 30 year old example of socialist creep that the proprietors consider to be an entitlement.

There is no reforming “Public Broadcasting” aside from citizens with bolt cutters, blowtorches, and creative web hacks resulting in dismantling the apparatus of propaganda.

Either that or a total legislative dismantlement.

16 posted on 07/15/2003 10:32:14 AM PDT by pad 34 (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum)
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To: pad 34
Just posted another good article on PBS "PBS, CNN not so artful as dodgers Execs can't spit out answers to critics" link
17 posted on 07/15/2003 10:42:40 AM PDT by Drango (Just 5 a day will end pledge drives on FreeRepublic.)
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To: Drango
Thanks, Drango. The liberal media certainly can pour on the "fertilizer." It's hard to know where to begin in cutting through the tangled lies in this article.

I'll start here...

Moyers sounds like any other televised huckster when he says...."Powerful vested interests, of course, don't like
1) strong,
2)credible,
3)fact-based
4)truth
telling,

How repetitive can Bill Moyers' mantra get? He sounds like Bill Clinton. When Clinton lies, he gets overly "wordy," too.

Too bad that neither man succeeds in convincing us that he speaks the truth.

18 posted on 07/15/2003 12:41:37 PM PDT by syriacus (Would PU Prof. Peter Singer say Hitler should ONLY have killed "inferior" NEWBORNS?)
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To: syriacus

I am Bill Moyers...Take it from me....

I only tell the strong, credible, fact-based truth

19 posted on 07/15/2003 12:49:54 PM PDT by syriacus (Would PU Prof. Peter Singer say Hitler should ONLY have killed "inferior" NEWBORNS?)
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To: Tamsey
TRANSCRIPTS FROM A RECENT NPR FUND-RAISER

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - MALE: "Where else are you going to hear the fine programming you've come to expect from NPR and your affiliate stations? Just think of all the times you and your family have enjoyed hearing how little Americans do for the world from someone with a British accent. The time is now, folks, pick up that phone and show your support!"

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - FEMALE: "That's right, people. When you want commentary that passes for news, where do you turn your dial? When you want entertainment that pokes fun of politics you don't like, where do you turn your dial? When you just want to know what to think, where do you tune the dial? Some of you, though, come here week after week, lurking around, and enjoy the high-quality programming we all enjoy for free, but you still haven't stepped up to the plate to help. Do you think that Public Radio is for the public? Please, for the love of the children, pick-up the phone and start doing your part today!"

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - ETHNIC MALE: "You make a good point, [name], too many people take what we do every day for granted and never, EVER, put up there fair share. I mean, we work hard day after day doing things like what we're doing now. If NPR wasn't here, there wouldn't be nothing worth listening to on the air. Some of us here even pay taxes and most all the other bills all of you listeners pay too, and we still can't get ahead because some people, and you know who I'm talking about, are trying to keep us down. And some of you don't care enough to give us our due and show your support with money - long green - and, believe me, we keep caller and donor lists so we know who you are, too."

NPR AFFILIATE - FEMALE: "I hear ya, [name]! The funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is only a small portion of our needs. We have bills too, ya' know. We still don't have the latest technology we want to lead the world in having all-digital-all-the-time facilities to dominate the radio for decades to come! I mean, whoa! That digital stuff is s-o-o-o expensive even most commercial stations can't afford it. Many of our buildings are, like, more than 10 years old! I mean, last week, here at this station, we actually had to choose domestic walnut paneling for our studio remodel instead of sustainably-grown Bubinga wood from Brazil because the import costs were too high. Imagine working under these kinds of conditions. Its like working in your folks basement - ewww! Our staff budget keeps growing every year as we hire more and more fellow travelers for the kinds of jobs we want to do and yet, at the same time, there are those mean spirits in government that actually want to cut our budget! This isn't the kind of America that we know is it? Come on, people! Get out those wallets and give us a call! To show how much we appreciate your donation, you can get all sorts of nifty premiums...what are we giving this year [name]?"

NRP AFFILIATE HOST - MALE: "For our lowest support category, the 'Silver Comrade', we'll send you a thank you and a post card showing all of us at our Colorado ski retreat last winter. For the next level, the 'Golden Comrade' you'll also get a bottle of Chardonnay from the Winery of Defrocked Priests in San Francisco. For the highest level, you'll get all of the stuff the others are getting, plus you'll also get a top-security clearances for any kind of sensitive military information you or the country you work for might desire. Oh wait, that was the offer we gave out under the Clinton administration..."

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - FEMALE: "Oops! You almost spilled the beans [name]! Actually, folks, this year's 'Platinum Comrade' premium is a genuine autographed copy of Hillary's new book signed by one of her staff. You just can't go wrong with deals like this. Where else can you…"

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - ETHNIC MALE: "Look, let's cut to the chase, dammit! We need money. You got money. We'll get it now, voluntarily, or we'll get it later with a pair of pliers when we get back in power. You wine-sipping liberals better get out your plastic, NOW!"

[Public Service Announcement]

[The studio microphones come back up...]

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - FEMALE: Well, [name], there certainly has been a lot of excitement here today. Oh, wait! The phones are ringing..."

[The sound of subdued chatter and the ring of a single phone is heard. An operator has picked up the phone and can be heard, indistinctly, speaking to someone…]

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - MALE: "That's right [name], the last time I saw the staff as excited as they are today was when Gorbachev first came to America! But excitement just isn't enough, friends! We need your support like never before. Call your Senators and Congress people and tell them you want to see more tax dollars go to Public Broadcasting because you don't want Big Bird to die. And die he will if funds dry up. In fact, the talk here this morning has even been that some of our staff may face losing his, er, their job if your support dollars aren't enough to make up the difference between what we demand, er, ask of government funding and what we are spending.

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - FEMALE: "It is a sad time indeed, people. When hard times come, we have to layoff people just like every other business. Thankfully, I'm white and perky."

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - MALE: "There's a lot of truth in what you say, [name], these are dark days indeed. Like you, I have two brand new SUV's to pay for and my family just bought a vacation home in Vail. We all have obligations, but some of us are doing something about fighting for the world-view we want to dominate in the generations to come. Others out there just don't care and go on stealing entertainment from us while living their selfish, indulgent lives for themselves instead of all of the world's citizens like we do. Shame on them."

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - FEMALE: "That's so sad, and so true. But it doesn't have to be that way. We can join hands and fight back. We can pick up the fallen banner and march for peace and justice together. C'mon, people! Let's all join the struggle - but it starts today, with your CASH donations!"

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - MALE: "Won't you please, please, please pick-up your phone and give us a call? What ever came of that last caller, [name]?"

NPR AFFILIATE HOST - FEMALE: "Uh, what did the caller say, [name of operator]?"

OPERATOR: "Nothing. It was a wrong number…"

[There is a long silence.]

[Music plays and a voice intones: 'Please Stand by…']
20 posted on 07/15/2003 3:13:57 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Please, for the love of the children, pick-up the phone and start doing your part today!"

Dang it...I didn't know you were joking and due to your emotional plea, I call my local PBS station and pledged!

Of course it was only .01 cent, but it was the thought that counted.

21 posted on 07/15/2003 7:06:57 PM PDT by Drango (Just 5 a day will end pledge drives on FreeRepublic.)
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To: Drango
Since it's only a penny, that's O.K. - this time. Just call them up and request that they send out a signed receipt by first class postage. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.
22 posted on 07/15/2003 7:44:58 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Ahhh, great fundraising transcript LOL I still can't believe I used to donate to NPR when my kids were smaller. We never watched anything other than the childrens' shows so I had no idea the news programming was working so hard to destroy much I hold dear :-(
23 posted on 07/16/2003 6:47:04 AM PDT by Tamzee (Peace is the prerogative of the victorious, not the vanquished.... Churchill)
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