Sen. Marco Rubio’s call for a mediocre America

As good ideas go, it’s difficult to top the idea of public broadcasting, and particularly Lyndon Johnson‘s creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the subsequent formation of NPR and PBS, and the proliferation of public broadcasting stations across the U.S.

For a small pittance of money from public coffers, the nation gets the massive advantage of working news networks dedicated to informing the public accurately, and great cultural preservation, including education of the very young.

Big Bird, wikipedia image from PBS

Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wants to kill the Big Bird that lays the golden eggs for our kids. Big Bird doesn’t make rude comments in response.

For-profit broadcasting has been absolutely unable to equal quality programs on television like “Sesame Street,” or “Masterpiece Theatre,” or “American Masters,” or “American Experience.  For-profit radio has nothing to equal “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “Prairie Home Companion,” or even “Car Talk.”

You know some politician is playing to the yahoos and anti-civilization types when he takes a swipe at schools, libraries, or public  broadcasting.

So, we know Marco Rubio‘s questioning of funding for CPB is a swing for the foul territory, an appeal for ignorance, to ignorance and ignorants.  ABC News, a rival of both NPR and PBS, reported the story with all its ironic drippings:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed worry this morning about broadcasting outlets that use taxpayer money to stay on the air.

But Rubio made his comments on NPR, a broadcasting outlet that uses taxpayer money to stay on the air.

“I do have concerns about spending money on public broadcasting,” Rubio told Diane Rehm during an hourlong Q&A on NPR.

NPR has been a source of criticism from congressional Republicans who view it as a liberal refuge that espouses its views courtesy of public funding. Although only 2 percent of NPR’s funding comes from government grants, the loss of federal funding would undermine the ability of NPR stations to pay for NPR programming, NPR says.

Rubio argued that private donations should support such an enterprise as NPR, and that plenty of outlets are available to house that ideology and format. He admitted, though, that he enjoys Rehm’s show and that NPR’s funding is low on the list of costs that should be cut.

A caller pointed out the irony of Rubio’s position, saying, “He’s spending an entire hour on the show today.”

Rubio countered that a half-century ago, a station like NPR might have been necessary, but “today there is no shortage of options” for news and opinion.

“I have 300 stations on my satellite radio,” Rubio boasted.

300 stations on his satellite — which most Americans cannot afford — and not a single station equal to the worst of NPR’s network.

Shame on Marco Rubio.  Tighten your seatbelts, America, it’s going to be a bumpy election, with lots of appeals to ignorance and praise for doing less than the best.

Do you know where the word “yahoo” comes from?  Rubio is one of the epitomes.

Now, here’s the trouble:  Is he making this appeal in hopes of winning votes, in hopes of getting Mitt Romney’s attention for the vice president’s slot on the ticket?  Or is he really just that anti-quality, anti-American?  Bet he doesn’t like baseball or apple pie, either — we won’t even mention Mom.

6 Responses to Sen. Marco Rubio’s call for a mediocre America

  1. Well I think worrying about Nascar sponsorships is a bit silly for Congress to do when we have real problems to deal with.

    Kind of like how it’s silly that Darrel Issa is suggesting that we name the coastal areas out to the 200 mile exclusionary line after Ronald Reagan.


  2. mark says:

    There are some people who have complained about proposed cuts in taxpayer sponsorship of NASCAR, but I don’t know what Rubio’s stand on that is.

    But basically, I think many of the anti-PBS crowd share the sentiments of Pastor Ray Mummert who declared during the Kitzmiller v. Dover skirmish, “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”


  3. Harumpf writes:
    Liberals” that have got a free ride out of the taxpayer b y way of it need to pay the taxpayer back.

    Let me know when all the conservatives who have gotten a free ride out of the taxpayer are going to pay the taxpayer back.

    You how Mittens got $75,000 in taxpayer money for his pet horse..


  4. Ellie says:

    Do you think if I wrote Mr. Rubio, he’s give me a satellite radio? Heck, I don’t even have cable TV. I have rabbit ears. I think public television is just as important today as it was when I was a teenager and went door to door asking for donations for our local station. I’d be happier if Saturdays weren’t quite so filled with Woo, but eventually, it will pass.

    Sesame Street is leftist because all different kinds of people live there. In one neighborhood. Can’t have that, you know.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    I deal with people like you every day, harumpf — I do indeed know a great deal about mediocrity.

    Sesame Street improves reading scores, improves student behaviors, and prepares kids for serious literature and great study. There are a few dozen studies on the effects of Sesame Street — none support your claims.

    You think Sesame Street is leftist? That’s a crazy idea.

    You think the news on PBS and NPR is slanted? You don’t read enough, you don’t see enough news yourself. In almost every state in the union, the PBS and NPR stations are known as bastions of fairness — I speak as a former press secretary to a Republican U.S. senator. (That’s why it’s so odd to see Rubio spouting nonsense — he should know better, if only for his own campaign propaganda’s sake.)

    Liberal? Then I suppose you hate the U.S. presidents. American Experience has the best and most complete set of biographies on American presidents — nothing in commercial broadcasting approaches the high quality, including History Channel stuff (which is pretty good, but not up to NPR quality). You hate baseball, too, I suppose — no one’s history of baseball tops Ken Burns on PBS. You hate classical music, too, I imagine — that stuff from “dead white males.” It’s a foundation of western culture and western civilization, which is one reason al Quaeda rails against it. You prefer Radio bin Laden? There is no other broadcast entity which defends, explains and expands American culture the way PBS and NPR do.

    As I said, Rubio was appealing to ignorance and ignorants. Your post? Res ipsa loquitur Your comment is Q.E.D., if you know what I mean (and if you do, you probably learned it off of PBS).


  6. harumpf says:

    Well you ought to know a great deal about mediocrity.

    CPB as some sort of “Superior Culture”? Seriously?

    it is a menace to public and private culture and virtue.
    It is truly a hideous undertaking.

    Sesame Street? How horrendous. No wonder reading scores are down.

    That Leftist find this garbage interesting just shows how what middle brow primitives they truly are.

    CPB needs to go, and all of those “Liberals” that have got a free ride out of the taxpayer b y way of it need to pay the taxpayer back.


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