The day of the State of the Union speech, the president and his press secretary sit down at the White House for a luncheon with the anchors and chief Washington correspondents of various television news organizations. During this year’s lunch, Bush asked Dan Rather if he was going to be retiring to Texas. It was a campaign started by Reed Irvine 17 years ago that comes to fruition when Dan Rather steps down as anchorman of the CBS Evening News.
The ranks of media critics have been growing since the time that Reed started AIM.
A new media critic, Vince McMahon, chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, told American troops in Iraq before Christmas that when he returned to the U.S. he was going to look up the “negative media nay saying types and I’m going to say that you said that they can go straight to hell.” His comments were met with cheers and thumbs up from our troops. Upon his return home, McMahon was deluged with requests for interviews. He said that he had “one clear message” for the media: “Report the good work being done in Iraq, not just the bad news.”
We have sidestepped the dinosaurs, the old media, with the help of new media. But keep this fact in mind: Dan Rather was still getting over 7 million viewers a night. Together, the evening news programs of the three networks grab 28 million viewers a night. The network morning programs are getting 14 million.
The old media continue to dominate the White House press corps and set most of the national agenda. And the group of reporters covering the United Nations, the U.N. Correspondents Association, has been led by a correspondent for The Nation magazine who has been taking money from the U.N. and coaching U.N. officials on how to deal with the press.
Speaking of dinosaurs, during a time of new media such as cable news and satellite radio, why are the American taxpayers being forced to spend $400 million a year on public television and radio? That public TV Buster cartoon for children that showed lesbian moms was just the latest outrage. The further outrage is that federal money from the Department of Education helped pay for it. And that the money went through a “Ready to Learn” program for young children.
AIM has been encouraging its members to send postcards to George Soros, pointing out that Soros and his billionaire buddies wasted $100 million trying to elect John Kerry. We say to Soros: “we’re sorry your money went for nothing. However, you have a lot left over from your $7.2 billion fortune. We suggest that you announce that you will replace the $400 million of taxpayer money currently financing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. You could get yourself a radio and TV network and take a load off the backs of the American taxpayers. This would be true philanthropy.”
The president’s new budget calls for the elimination or curtailment of some 150 programs. Unfortunately, he does not propose to terminate the dinosaur of public TV and radio. It’s time to make sure this dinosaur goes extinct.
Let’s de-fund public broadcasting and spend the money on more pay and better weapons for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan so they can kill more terrorists!