Sunday, December 04, 2005

You know it is that time of year when...





Well after that last one (moonbats on this planet seem to grow worse than crabgrass in summer), there was something that has been aired in this area that made me realize that PBS has lost it.

I have mentioned them before in this space and now they deserve another alert. Depending on where you live in the US, your local PBS station may be in the middle of another pledge break. Yep where they air 'exclusive' programs, only to be broken up by folks who look like they came out of central casting for 'semi-good looking TV hosts' asking that people help to support this fine organization. Why? So they can afford to air more programs like the one being aired at that time.

Let's break this down to cases, shall we:

1. The 'exclusive' programs that they air can be found not just on the net, but at any good large record or bookstore. Borders, Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, WaldenBooks...you name them -- the programs can be found. And in some cases oover the net, with additional footage. So hence one does not need to pay DOUBLE or TRIPLE the cost of the program in order to get it as well as a totebag so they can prove they support 'Northern California Public Broadcasting' or 'Oregon Public Broadcasting' or '_______(Fill in the blank) Public Broadcasting', etc.

2. As has been said by others, if they (PBS) is so bloody poor, how about they do something novel like...open their books for public inspection so we can see if they are really in the red or not. Makes sense if only because all non-profits by law are supposed to do that. It is one of those funny little things that is a rule of the IRS and those other strange folks in Washington. Heck, even the Green Bay Packers do a public review of their books because they, like PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are non-profits. HOWEVER, the Packers are at least honest about their books; they have to be, most of the town has a membership share in the team.

Now if they were to be into full public disclosure, I will bet credits to navy beans that one will find that PBS has enough in its bankroll and coffers to exist on their own for SEVERAL YEARS before having to go and beg from the public like a cheap hooker outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. If that sounds mean, there is a way for the general public to find out the real deal with PBS. The next time there is a pubic meeting in town that deals with a renewal of the cable franchise, attend it. Then wait for the PBS rep to come in and explain that not only should they be a part of the 'must carry' (this is a clause in the cable contract that says all local stations including PBS and public access stations). If the representative is one of those who comes off as arrogant as the hosts of any of the self-help progams on PBS, he or she will tell the packed room that they are in such a good financial shape that if they were to not be on a must carry basis, their warchest can allow them to even flood the area with better antennea signal for several years and bypass cable. But to the rest of the world, they will appear to be the poor emperor with ratty clothing.

One last comment about the programming during the break: hire people who at least have a better than a passing knowledge about the program they are hawking. For example, while airing a tape of Cream (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker) , one of the talking heads had was saying this was one of the first 'jam bands' (whatever the heck that means) and that groups like Yes copied their style. The Grateful Dead maybe (they are the subject of another post for another time), but Yes no. Granted, I cannot play an instrument like Eric, Jack or Ginger can, the point here being made is that some should know a little more about their subject than to get on air and expose their somewhat limited point of view to the rest of the world.

Then again, if these folks were not around, folks like me would not have as many people to analyze, critque and call BS artists. And if there were to clean up their collective acts, darn things would really be dull.

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