Markey Protests Bush CPB Budget Cuts

Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.), is complaining that the Bush Administration's new budget, released Monday, which proposes to cut $53.5 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 2007 and $50 million in 2008.

"Oscar the Grouch has been friendlier to the Sesame Street characters than President Bush," said Markey "In a world of fast-and-furious television with ratings-driven content, the public broadcasting system represents the last stronghold of quality, child-oriented programming - we owe this to America's children."

Markey was among the leading voices of protest when Republicans tried unsuccessfully to  slash noncom' funds last fall.

CPB President Patricia Harrison said she was disappointed with the move: “We understand the hard choices facing the Administration, Congress and the nation as hurricane reconstruction, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue and entitlement spending take up a growing share of federal dollars," she told B&C in an e-mail.
"We are, nevertheless, disappointed. We believe greater investments in public broadcasting, a trusted source of information and essential educational services, create stronger connections to community."

She added that, “working with the public broadcasting community, we will increase our efforts to engage Congress and build appreciation and respect for the inherent value of public broadcasting to our civil society, our children’s education, and our nation’s security.” 

She did not say she would "lobby," as initially stated here. CPB is prohibited by law from lobbying.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.