Saturday, December 03, 2005

Beautiful promo for PBS

The Public Broadcasting System has been under fire by the conservative political power brokers for decades. The Bush administration, though, has taken the hostility to new depths, putting in place a stooge to illegally spy on PBS (counting the number of "liberal" and "conservative" guests on Now with Bill Moyers) and try to bring down PBS — or better yet turn it to the conservative side of The Force — from within.

My local PBS affiliate, KQED, just ran a promo that I quite like. Of course, they want people to pledge, because that's how they stay on the air, but this promo also takes a swipe back at those who accuse PBS of anti-Bush-etc. bias. A young man wearing jeans walks up to a microphone at some outdoor monument. He says:

Hi, I'm Bob, and I give to my PBS station. Not because I suffer from Pledge Guilt, though, [musical fanfare; slide show drops in behind Bob] or because they promised me one of those NewsHour travel mugs, although they are very nice. No, I give because PBS isn't owned by big business or the government. It's run by real live Americans, and supported by Andy over there, and Maria, and Susan (hi!). I give because PBS Kids helps our children do better in school. I give because I want to know more about my world, my country, my little slice of life. I believe that barbecue grills were created for more than just steak and chicken, and that even my Aunt Edna has the right to strike it rich, and that an 80-piece symphony orchestra can rock just as hard as any garage band. I believe that our children need little furry red rĂ´le models, and English people have those funny accents, because they do! I give because PBS gives my community back more than I ever thought it could. My name is Bob, [backdrop changes to giant US flag] and when I give to PBS, I'm giving to America. Thank you.
I would add two slogans: Knowledge is Power, and Dissent is Patriotic. It isn't just at al Jazeera or in the newspapers of Baghdad that the free press is under assault. Support PBS while we still can. What if Fox News were the model for every source of information on television, on the web, and in print? Do you notice that the Army News Service web site hasn't even mentioned the scandal about the U.S. military's efforts to pay Iraqi newspapers to run stories favorable to the occupation? They had time to write about the need for soldiers to have their computers secured against hackers before they ship out to Iraq or Afghanistan, but not about a scandal that could be almost as harmful to our credibility in the region as Abu Ghraib. No wonder Bush wants to subvert PBS.