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Nicholas Petron’s grandfather, Rocco Galasso, moved to New York City from Italy with the hopes of making a better life. For eighteen years Rocco served as owner and superintendent of an apartment building where much of his family resided—until the day they were given notice that their building faced demolition to make way for new apartments. As Nick remembers, that’s when everything changed.
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Jon Stewart absolutely nails the real reason for Mitt Romney’s attacks on PBS — it has nothing to do with the economy or saving money, and everything to do with paranoid right wing fantasies that Sesame Street is “brainwashing” children into liberalism.
The Public Broadcasting Service has issued an official response to Mitt Romney’s statement last night that he plans to fire Big Bird: PBS Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate.
ARLINGTON, VA - October 4, 2012 - We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.
The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.
A national survey by the bipartisan research firms of Hart Research and American Viewpoint in 2011 found that over two-thirds of American voters (69%) oppose proposals to eliminate government funding of public broadcasting, with Americans across the political spectrum against such a cut.
As a stated supporter of education, Governor Romney should be a champion of public broadcasting, yet he is willing to wipe out services that reach the vast majority of Americans, including underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas.
For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission - harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.
Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8.
Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public media broadcasts, apps, podcasts and online - all for the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.
Here we go again. Don’t these people ever get tired of humiliating themselves?
Practically the entire right wing blogosphere went into vapor-lock this morning, shrieking in unison at the evil librul PBS for “editing” the transcript of the President’s joint session speech on jobs, to cover up his “gaffe” that Abraham Lincoln was a founder of the Republican Party.
American Stinker leads the pack with this typically vitriolic, hate-filled post (but it’s currently on at least a dozen other blogs too): Blog: PBS alters transcript to hide Obama gaffe.
At one point Mr. Obama made a major gaffe; he identified Abraham Lincoln as the founder of the Republican Party.
Lincoln did not join the Republicans until 1856, over two years after the party was founded. The first Republican convention was held in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.
Such a gaffe would have brought huge amounts of ridicule and derision on George W. Bush, but in the case of Obama the media yawned.
Actually, they did more than yawn; government-funded PBS has altered the transcript of the President’s speech, removing the offending comment.
So are they right? Did PBS edit the transcript?
Gasp! Yes, they did! Full Text: Obama Vows to Spur Job Creation, ‘Jolt’ Economy in Speech to Congress.
Why in the world would they do something like this? Why, I ask you?
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original transcript provided on this page, as was noted, reflected the president’s remarks as prepared for delivery and released by the White House. This transcript has been updated to reflect the remarks as delivered and released by the White House.
The multi-level idiocy of this latest wingnut freakout is impressive. Not only did PBS have a perfectly good reason for changing their transcript, the wingnuts are completely wrong about Lincoln, too.
For example, let’s see what the Republican National Committee website has to say about Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln | RNC: Republican National Committee | GOP
Abraham Lincoln helped establish the Republican Party with a speech denouncing an 1854 law, written by a Democrat Senator, that allowed slavery to expand into the western territories. Two years later, he co-founded the Illinois GOP. Lincoln was runner-up for the 1856 Republican vice presidential nomination and then became a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.
Oops! Wingnuts with egg on their faces … again. I guess they must enjoy the embarrassment, because they just keep falling for this crap, over and over and over.
Just to rub it in some more, LGF reader Gus 802 posted this great comment with some quotes from conservatives on this issue:
I am a Lincoln/Kemp Republican. It’s 150 years ago in Chicago this year that Abraham Lincoln, the founder of the Republican Party, accepted the Republican nomination for President of the United States. — Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)
Immigration was a core belief of a founder of the Republican party, Abraham Lincoln. — Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R)
Though Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party, to liberals and advocates of civil rights Lincoln was in that pantheon along with FDR as one of the heroes of liberalism and American democracy. — James Pierson on National Review
George W. Bush is not a Goldwater Republican — he’s a Lincoln Republican. Like the founder of the Republican party, Bush doesn’t mind spending money on his priorities, and he doesn’t mind doing some of this spending with borrowed money. — Jerry Bowyer, National Review
It is a pleasure for me to address you upon the day when this club and our countrymen of all faiths throughout the land are paying tribute to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. We tonight also pay tribute to him as founder of the Republican Party and the inspirer of its ideals. — President Herbert Hoover (R)
It was — it was, in fact, the founder of our party, Abraham Lincoln, who reminded us that a government that can do everything for us is the government that can take everything from us. — Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) 2008 RNC Speech
Tommy Christopher found the links to all the quotes above: Conservatives Accuse PBS Of ‘Altering’ Jobs Speech Transcript To Cover Up President Obama Gaffe.
PBS FrontLine has an interesting show tonight, an investigative report on Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and the biggest intelligence breach in US history: FRONTLINE: WikiSecrets.
The press release has this shocking description of Assange’s attitude toward the people whose names appeared in the massive document dump:
Was Julian Assange prepared to publish some of the leaked documents without adequately redacting the names of people who could have been harmed by the disclosures? “Julian was very reluctant to delete those names, to redact them.” David Leigh of the Guardian newspaper tells FRONTLINE of meetings he attended with Assange in the run-up to publication of the war logs. “And we said: ‘Julian, we’ve got to do something about these redactions. We really have got to.’ And he said: ‘These people were collaborators, informants. They deserve to die.’ And a silence fell around the table.”
Juan Williams is earning his two million dollar salary from Fox News today, with a vindictive attack on NPR published at The Hill: WILLIAMS: Now it’s time to defund NPR.
Here’s the statement Williams thinks is the outrageous final straw:
Last week my line of defense for NPR ran into harsh political realities. Rep. Steve Israel (D- N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising letter with the following argument for maintaining public funding of NPR:
“They [Republicans] know NPR plays a vital role in providing quality news programming — from rural radio stations to in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. If the Republicans had their way, we’d only be left with the likes of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to dominate the airwaves.”
With that statement, Congressman Israel made the case better than any Republican critic that NPR is radio by and for liberal Democrats. He is openly asking liberal Democrats to give money to liberal Democrats in Congress so they can funnel federal dollars into news radio programs designed to counter and defeat conservative Republican voices.
The hypocrisy is absolutely stunning. Williams was fired from NPR for making bigoted anti-Muslim statements on Fox News, and is now a shill for the most biased right wing media source in the country — even substituting for Bill O’Reilly — but he has the gall to act outraged about a simple statement of fact. If Republicans had their way, they would destroy any news sources that contradict the propaganda from the hundreds of right wing radio hosts and the non-stop disinformation of Fox News.
And that’s exactly what they’re trying to do to NPR.
Yesterday in a House Rules Committee hearing, Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) discussed the Republican bill to defund NPR and suggested a novel amendment of his own.
As expected, House Republicans voted en masse today to defund NPR.
They had to rush it through with an “emergency meeting,” before any more people got wise that James O’Keefe’s sting video was a dishonest scam. Can’t let a good smear go to waste.
The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), would ban any federal money from going to NPR, including funding through competitive grants from federal agencies and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NPR receives about $5 million annually in such funds. The bill would also prohibit NPR’s roughly 600 member stations from using federal funds to purchase programming from NPR and to pay station dues.
Voting in favor were 235 Republicans and one Democrat, Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), while all 181 Democrats present voted “no.”
The bill has no chance of passing through the Senate, of course. Rep. Louise Slaughter nails the GOP’s real motives:
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Rules Committee, called the bill a “purely ideological bill so members can go home and brag about what they have done to NPR” when they return to their districts later Thursday for a week-long recess.
Exactly right. It’s an empty gesture to the ignorant base: “Look! We really stuck it to those pointy headed commie intelleckshuls!”
ABC’s Rick Klein reports that House Republicans have scheduled an “emergency meeting” tomorrow for a bill “to prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio.”