The Republican Party energized by its victories in the last election, and convinced that it now has the momentum to change the face of government and America has incorporated in its agenda a determination to eliminate funding for PBS and National Public Radio. George Wills, the conservative columnist and eminent spokesman for the right, has written commentaries supporting this position. They all proclaim that neither has any value or relevance, that their perceived liberal bias is far from the “conservative” mainstream of America, and that they are an inappropriate drain on the public tax payer. It’s not hard to see what their goal is. It is to maintain the populous as compliant, subservient, and unquestioning true believers in their right-wing agendas. In order to do this, they must eliminate any media that questions their intent.
Each day on network television, we are served with a continuous barrage of infantile commercials, childish sitcoms, slapstick entertainment, meaningless news, and shock reporting that appeal to only two things—ignorance and gullibility. The brainwashing is further reinforced by hundreds of talk radio and Christian-right radio stations, which spew out right-wing propaganda on a twenty-four-hour basis. Yet this is what the Republican Party and their right wing patrons would have the American public receive as “legitimate” alternatives to the liberal bias of PBS and NPR. The major networks, continuously attacked as “liberal,” have long since been intimidated into a reluctance to touch any issue that might offend the right wing.
Anyone who values free and open discourse in the media should view the continuing attack on PBS with outrage. National Public Television and Radio are among of the few sources for truly balanced news and commentary. It is the only medium that confronts issues that the major networks are too intimidated to cover, and issues that the right-wing media choose to distort and manipulate. The fact that it provides moderate views and perspectives as well as conservative views is simply not acceptable. To them any semblance of perceived liberal thought and discourse is heresy and should be expunged from society.
Those of us who value the right to receive balanced and objective information with which to make intelligent decisions had better wake up. If the Republican right wing succeeds in suppressing all discourse but its own propaganda, there will be no accurate and objective media. They will have succeeded in establishing a national level of political acceptance in which their interests and agenda are the standard of thought and behavior. Right wing politics and Christian fundamentalism will be the norm of society. Any beliefs or opinions different from this will be automatically branded as disloyal, anti-American, and deviant. At that point, the Republican far right, George Wills and the neo-conservative establishment he represents will have achieved their goals.