Henry Jenkins makes some false accusations in his posting referring to me.
1) I have not attempted to shut down discussion, merely pointed out that the
posted rules for this area say it is about film and television studies, not
political advocacy. I am more than happy to discuss any aspect of PBS with
anyone as I have now spent some 13 years in and around it. I don't feel it is
right to substitute agitation for scholarship, however. This hijacking of the
academy by political propagandists is one of the main reasons the public is
sick and tired of paying for it and people like Bennett and Cheney have come
out against the NEH, for example. It corrupts the standards of academic
discourse and reduces it to the level of ward-heeling at best and Stalinist
cells at worst.
2) The House hearing was called by Cong. John Porter, a supporter of public
broadcasting. It was perfectly balanced, if you counted the amount of time
given to proponents and critics of PBS, etc. In fact, originally no critics
were scheduled to appear and it took a great deal of begging and pleading to
even get one panel of criticism. It was the PBS lobby which decided to use a
blind man, a woman from Arkansas, and LeVar Burton to make their case, not
PBS critics. I am sure PBS did not want to have Ivy League professors, the
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or People For the American Way
pleading on their behalf on national television, for it would have given
credence to those who argue the system has a liberal bias.
3) The case against PBS is not a distraction, it is an example of making the
case for limited federal government. The federal government should not do
everything, only necessary things. If the federal subsidy is not necessary,
it should be eliminated.