Vail Daily letter: Publicly funded media | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Publicly funded media

Terry Quinn (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 13) is right to question why taxpayers should continue to fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and other publicly funded media. This is how a democracy works. People of opposing views bring up facts and ideas from their perspective that inform the debate and lead to a greater understanding and perhaps even a reasonable accommodation that benefits the society and helps it move forward on common ground. For example, I wonder if any conservatives have watched and enjoyed "Downton Abbey," or Ken Burns' award-winning documentaries, "The Civil War" and "Baseball," or "American Masters" or anything on "Masterpiece Theater," the first and last British Broadcasting Corporation imports?

I wouldn't be prepared to debate whether these productions represent a liberal point of view to the detriment of a conservative viewpoint. But, I'm pretty sure there's a reason they are shown on the CPR network and not on other more commercial outlets. As for public radio, I wonder what might be considered liberal about a story on beekeepers in Florida or many other inspiring human interest pieces that seem to escape the attention of the so-called mainstream "liberal" commercial news outlets such as CBS and ABC, the former essentially a corporate entity most of whose parts are still owned by parent Viacom, the latter a Walt Disney subsidiary. And, by the way, in the interest of full disclosure, NBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NBCUniversal which, in turn, is owned by Comcast. Yes, that's right, your cable company.

I'm pretty sure you get my point by now. Nevertheless, I will admit that history and the news does tend to reflect a liberal bias. If it didn't, then the recent news for example, that the president signed legislation last week passed by a Republican-dominated Congress repealing the law requiring domestic oil companies to disclose payments to foreign governments we euphemistically call "bribes" might certainly depress all of us as we sink back into an America more closely associated with propping up dictators and petty governments around the world.

There is a place for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in our society just as there is a place in our society for Viacom, Walt Disney and, dare I say it, Fox News, which is owned by the Australian-born media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Twentieth Century Fox Corporation. These latter notable mentions are multi-billion dollar media conglomerates. At least CPR is owned by We the People, and considering the bang for the buck enumerated in an earlier letter, CPR does a great job, and not just for liberals.

Gus Nicholson

Avon and Denver