H/T US Hearld.
If Big Bird and Elmo merchandise can’t keep PBS afloat they good riddance.
Elmo, Big Bird and their friends may be forced to pay their own way if Congress approves a section of President Trump’s first budget that defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that produces the children’s show along with a variety of programming on television and radio.
The CPB receives roughly $450 million each year, its largest source of funding, with more than $99 million that keeps National Public Radio (NPR) on the air with primarily liberal and left-leaning programming and perspective.
Annual on-air fundraising, as well as backing from corporations and family trusts, constitute major sources of additional revenue.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney discussed the end of the federal government’s involvement with the CPB at a White House press conference after the president sent his budget to the Capitol.
“We proposed ending funding, but technically what you’ll see—it’s an elimination—but you’ll see an amount of money in the budget, and it is some amount of money that’s necessary for us to unwind our involvement with CPB.”
“Next year it might be zero, it may take a while to unwind that relationship, it’s just the nature of contracts,” he said.
In 2012, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, proposed cutting the CPB from the federal budget to outraged editorials and cartoons criticizing him for trying to “kill” Big Bird, the popular big, yellow character from the long-running children’s show, “Sesame Street.”
In fact, merchandising rights and foreign distribution in 140 countries earn Sesame Workshop millions in the sales of everything from kids’ toys, books, toothbrushes, pajamas, DVDs to “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls.
Sesame Street is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with tax-exempt status, spending less than $20 million per year on production so that the show will be just fine without the federal money.
Where does the rest of the federal funding to the CPB go?
Mike Gonzales, Vice-President of Communications for the Heritage Foundation points out that much of it goes to über liberal programming that is less “feathery and cuddly” to undermine American institutions by letting Big Bird and Elmo shows “the face of public broadcasting,” rather than liberal journalists.
While the president’s budget will no doubt emerge as a very different document when it emerges from the mark-up and debate process in Congress, the move to defund the CPB represents the latest example of Trump keeping his word on campaign promise to trim the budget to rebuild the military after years of cuts by the Obama administration.
The move also exposes what Gonzales calls the “insanity” of the funding of the CPB: While the institution represents the views and opinions of only half the population, it demands funding by those who it ignores when not actively deriding.
At the time the defunding was first proposed by Gov. Romney, the CPB responded by saying the federal money represented only a “tiny percentage” of its operating revenue while claiming that it is nonpartisan and impartial.
If that is the case, then Big Bird and NPR’s liberal radio schedule of “All Things Considered”and “Fresh Air” won’t be impacted.