“I’m sorry Jim, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS,” said presidential candidate Mitt Romney during Wednesday night’s debate. “I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you too, but I’m going to stop borrowing money from China to pay for things we don’t need.”The debate over cutting subsidies to PBS has been going on since PBS first began.
Back in 1969, then President Richard Nixon threatened to slash a $20 million grant that was on its way to PBS.
Dr. Fred Rogers of PBS’s Mister Rogers’ neighbourhood spoke at a Senate hearing to defend the network and its grant.
“I’m constantly concerned about what our children are seeing,” he said referring to the more violent programming on network television.
Here are some quotes:
- “We deal with such things as the inner drama of childhood. We don’t have to bop someone over the head to make drama…We deal with such things as getting a haircut. Or the feelings about brothers and sisters, and the kind of anger that arises in simple family situations. And we speak to it constructively.”
- “We’ve got to have more of this neighbourhood expression of care. This is what I give. I give an expression of care everyday to each child to help him to realise that he is unique.”
- “And I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.”
Rogers’ soft-spoken and gentle delivery is moving.
“I’m supposed to be a pretty tough guy and this is the first time I’ve had goosebumps in two days,” said Senator John Pastore who was leading the hearing.
Watch the whole clip here:
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