I’ve met some of the people from WVPT and they’re nice folks — good citizens. I’m sorry their jobs are in jeopardy as tax-financed funding for public broadcasting dries up. However, tax financing is not about keeping people employed in jobs that are not self-supporting, it’s about funding the legitimate functions of government. That does not include public broadcasting.
Here are three good reasons to de-fund public broadcasting and let it have a go at being self-supporting:
1. It’s for the rich. Who do you think is watching Masterpiece Theater? That audience can afford to pay for its programming.
2. It does so little local programming. Most public TV stations spend huge amounts of money supporting the national organization’s programming — but that so often duplicates what’s already available: news, commentary, cultural programming.
3. It’s left-leaning, which is fine in itself, but not when it’s combined with public funding. It means that everyone’s money funds a particular point of view. Taking everybody’s money to fund a particular political viewpoint is just wrong.