Trump is the latest president to consider de-funding it.
Donald Trump is reportedly considering eliminating the U.S. Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of his budget.
This is hardly the first time that the future of public television has been at risk. Indeed, in 1969 — shortly after its formation under a previous administration — president Richard Nixon had already proposed slashing its funding in half.
Fred Rogers — host of the show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which won the Peabody award that year for excellence in children’s programming — was brought out to testify to the Senate on the value of public television.
In his testimony, which you can watch via this YouTube video, he details the value of educational and children’s programming, including developmental and emotional benefits.
“I’m constantly concerned about what our children are seeing, and for 15 years I have tried in this country and Canada to present what I feel is a meaningful expression of care.”
In many ways, though media norms and technology have changed over the decades, Rogers’ speech rings true today. But he will not be available to testify again this year; Rogers died in 2003.
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Author: Dan Frommer
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