NH, VT Public Radio applaud $200 million gift from McDonalds widow

Aaron Read aread@speakeasy.net
Tue Nov 11 10:53:09 EST 2003

At 03:11 PM 11/8/2003, Chuck Igo wrote:
>Aaron:  time to drop the sanctimonious stuff about Public Radio, from which
>you derive your income.  (you DO get paid, right?)

Ehh...yes and no.  I volunteer at WBRS but they do pay me when a major 
project comes around (like the transmitter replacement I'm doing in two 
weeks).   With the rest of my non-comm's I do get paid but frankly I'm not 
getting rich off them...I do it because I'm a sucker for college 
radio.  :-)    What really pays my bills is my commercial clients, which 
are some AM/FM/TV's, but largely are municipalities on wireless consulting.

>time and again, Aaron, you stray a bit far from the topic and wind up on the
>soapbox.  the day Public Radio stops getting federal funds (which are
>provided by, um... oh yeah, the taxpayers), then preach away.  on this
>point, imo (and there's nothing humble about it this time), you were way off

I don't see that.  The original thread was about how Ms.Kroc made a $200 
million donation to NPR.  It had nothing to do with the politics about 
public radio funding until Brian made his rather cynical remark.  Really, 
it was a smartass remark, as was my reply...and was meant to be a mild 
tit-for-tat.  We're all adults and a little nose-tweaking isn't forbidden, 
is it?  :-)

Anyways, what irks me about Brian's comment...and comments in the same 
vein...is that it ignores the "corporate welfare" and shady business 
practices by hundreds of commercial broadcasters (Clear Channel the 
biggest, but hardly the only) that have resulted in the same thing public 
radio gets: a handout on the backs of the average Joe.   Sure, I don't HAVE 
to go to a purchase or listen to Clear Channel's wares, whereas I have to 
pay taxes, but when a corporation decides it doesn't want to pay as much in 
taxes, it bullies its home state (Raytheon, anyone?   Or Pfizer to CT for 
that matter) and that DOES mean I have to pay more tax to make up the 

Sure, it's pennies on the dollar, but so is public radio funding.

Does public radio engage in these shady deals?  Yeah, I'd say there's 
probably something there...public radio isn't very "public" anymore and NPR 
is run very much like a commercial outfit; the programming is barely held 
in check by the FCC underwriting rules.  But I can't imagine NPR is doing 
it to even one-tenth the degree you see it with a Clear Channel or 
whoever.  Personally I prefer it up front and in the open with public 
radio, rather than some fatcat sweetheart deal in a smoky pool room of some 
Congressional hangout.

Aaron "Bishop" Read             aread@speakeasy.net
FriedBagels Consulting          AOL-IM: readaaron
http://www.friedbagels.com      Boston, MA

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