Thursday, 02 June 2011

The Parasitic Network

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Back in 1967, during the Johnson administration, there was a well-organized campaign by the liberal establishment to saddle the American people with subsidized, “public” television. Prior to 1967, noncommercial “educational” television depended on foundation grants, viewer contributions, and government subsidies from the Health, Education and Welfare Department for its subsistence. That was before there was an Education Department.

However, these sources were not enough to provide educational TV with any degree of financial stability or security. And America, being very rich, and our politicians itching to spend as much money as they could lay their hands on, decided to give the educational TV folks more financial security by making them parasites on the taxpayer.

A plan was conceived by the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television — a group of liberal visionaries financed by a Carnegie Foundation grant — and presented to Congress in January of 1967. It stated:

The Carnegie Commission on Educational Television has reached the conclusion that a well-financed and well-directed education television system, substantially larger and far more pervasive and effective than that which now exists in the United States, must be brought into being if the full needs of the American public are to be served.

It should be noted that there was no great cry on the part of the American people for a government-subsidized TV system. Indeed, they were quite satisfied with what was available on commercial TV free of charge. The Carnegie Report continues:

The programs we conceive to be the essence of public television are in general not economic for commercial sponsorship.

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So that’s why they thought that the taxpayer should be forced to pay for them. If the programs they envisioned were not commercially viable, then what was their purpose? For years, Texaco sponsored the Metropolitan Opera on radio, at no cost to the taxpayer. For years, NBC sponsored a symphony orchestra with world-renown conductors at no cost to the taxpayer. But the liberals were convinced that the people “needed” something else.

As everyone knows, motion pictures, radio, and television are the technological children of capitalism. But socialists have had no qualms about using them to destroy capitalism. The growth of these great creations of free-enterprise were possible only because they had, and still have, commercial value. A commercial value creates wealth so that other commercially viable products can be invented and sold to the public. They don’t require government subsidies. The Carnegie Report stated:

We recommend that Congress act promptly to authorize and to establish a federally chartered, non-governmental corporation, to be known at the ‘Corporation for Public Television.’ The corporation would be empowered to receive and disburse governmental and private funds in order to extend and improve public television programming.

The Report then recommended placing an excise tax on the sale of television sets to pay for the new public TV system. The Commission reasoned:

In this manner a stable source of financial support would be assured. We would free the corporation to the highest degree from the annual governmental badgering and appropriations procedures: the goal we seek is an instrument for the free communication of ideas in a free society.

In a truly free society, you don’t force citizens to pay for someone else’s television system. And, of course, the “free communication of ideas” means the free communication of liberal, left-wing ideas.

The Congress rejected the idea of funding Public TV with excise taxes on TV sets. They preferred to have Americans pay for this elite project directly through their taxes.

It is typical of liberals that they would force all Americans to pay for their superior concept of television. James Reston, a spokesman for the liberals, wrote in his column of January 26, 1967:

They [the Carnegie Commission] are saying that while Jackie Gleason may be more amusing than Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, and the battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers more popular than the struggle for China, nevertheless there may be a difference between what is amusing and what is important.

In short, the Carnegie Commission is suggesting that there is a difference between what sells on television and what endures, what takes people’s minds off the troubling issues for decision in a democracy, and what keeps their minds on those decisions.

In other words, the liberals in favor of Public TV were concerned about what’s in the minds of American TV viewers. It’s all about mind indoctrination. And the editorialist in Life magazine (Feb. 17, 1967) wrote:

A basic concern, held by many, on any large-scale undertaking of noncommercial television is the fear that it will develop into a "Big Brother" voice of the government or of some cultural Establishment. To avoid this possibility, the Carnegie plan would establish a nongovernmental nonprofit corporation at the core of Public TV. The corporation would act as a buffer between the sources of funds- — tax revenues, foundations or private donors — and the creative producers, who should be shielded from the influence that financial support often demands.

And who would choose the “creative producers”? Those in charge of the new Parasitic Network. And for the next 44 years the powers in control would be liberals and leftists. Who would have thunk?