Elmo Go Bye Bye?

Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
Comment | Trackback Bookmark and Share

I can understand why the post office may be cutting off Saturday mail delivery: it’s losing nine billion dollars a year. No real secret why; if people want to communicate these days they do it electronically rather than spend 50 cents to send a letter by snail mail.
Same with bills: I’m probably one of the few who still sends out checks once a month instead of paying on-line. More and more folks take care of it with a few clicks on the computer.
The post office is also losing business to the big name package delivery companies who do it faster and cheaper.
I think the public is fed up with annual increases in the price of stamps to make up for the deficit..so if the only financial option is to go to a five day work week, well, I can go along with thatWhat I CANNOT abide, though, is the prospect of losing my public television.
With the legislative session winding down, South Dakota Public Broadcasting says that it is on the short list of state agencies threatened with a major cut in state funding..or being dropped completely.
SDPB gets its money for programs and program-related services from the federal government and donations from viewers..including endowments.
Money for the nuts and bolts of SDPB’s operation; towers, equipment and employee salaries, comes from the state.
If that is severely curtailed or dropped altogether, the network says, its ability to reach a statewide audience will be critically hampered.(Read that..shut down)
No more Big Bird or Elmo. No more state high school tournaments..no more nightly coverage of the state legislature itself for cryin’ out loud!
SDPB says it has been a good steward of the state’s money and while every agency needs to tighten its belt these days, imagine what losing public broadcasting would mean to the people who rely on it each day.
That would most certainly include me. In fact, I heard about this while watching my DVR recording of Antiques Roadshow.  I never miss that program or Nova, American Experience, America’s Test Kitchen, the British comedies (even though I’ve seen them many times) Dakota Life, South Dakota Focus, This Old House Hour..History Detectives..Frontline..Red Green and on and on.
I tried to look up the size of South Dakota’s subsidy..but didn’t find it right away. It doesn’t matter anyway. SDPB is worth every penny!
So if, in fact, you lawmakers seriously believe that nobody will care one way or another if you choose to save money by bringing the hatchet down on Public Broadcasting, be prepared for a voter backlash in your e-mail,  post office box (except Saturday) or perhaps most importantly at the BALLOT box.   

Leave a Reply