I didn’t really think it would last this long. During the first Presidential debate a week ago, GOP candidate Mitt Romney stated he would end government subsidies for PBS – and subsequently, it’s large feathered mascot – to save the hemorrhaging federal budget if elected. Suddenly, like the squaw of a a million ravenous crows, the population sprung up to protect their beloved public television. I’ve got a heads up for you guys: you still don’t care about PBS.
Now let’s be fair, I grew up on a lot of PBS content. Sesame Street, home improvement shows, all kinds of stuff, I watched it all. But PBS has a niche: passionate silver-haired viewers and children too young to change the channel. I’d hate to break it to you, but the mega-successful Sesame Street doesn’t need a government subsidy. I have no doubt that Ken Burns or Hometime would find new homes if PBS funding were to suddenly evaporate. Jim Lehrer? He can ref bowling tournaments since Presidential debate seems to be beyond him.
And to those who sprung up in its defense: you stopped watching years ago. I have trouble watching TV period, so PBS is hardly first-choice entertainment. Shows that were hip on PBS became hipper on channels like TLC and Discovery. What was the last thing you saw on there? An enlightening documentary? A special guest star on a news program? I doubt you even remember. When was the last time you donated? Maybe if PBS had more compelling content, sure. Look what happened to AMC: they took a loss bringing period drama Mad Men to the channel and now they create great content. If you want dollars, make something that’s worth them.
So to my original point: stop it. Big Bird has enough attention. PBS is gonna have a much harder time staying around as our generation gets older.