Mister Rogers and the Presidential Debate

In the video on the right from 1969, Fred Rogers appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications. His goal was to support funding for PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in response to significant proposed cuts by President Nixon. Subcommittee chairman John O. Pastore concluded “I think it’s wonderful. Looks like you just earned the $20 million.”

In this year’s first Presidential Debate, Governor Mitt Romney advocated defunding Public Television including Big Bird (Sesame Street) and moderator Jim Lehrer (PBS NewsHour).

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the entity created by Congress in 1967 to disperse funds to nonprofit broadcast outlets like PBS and NPR, is set to receive $445 million over the next two years….

This amounts to roughly .012% of the $3.8 trillion federal budget — or about $1.35 per person per year. (Some global perspective: elsewhere in the world, Canada spends $22.48 per citizen, Japan $58.86 per citizen, the United Kingdom $80.36 per citizen, and Denmark, $101 per citizen.) (Source: ProPublica)

In the second video, Jimmy Fallon (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) parodies what “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” would look like with Mitt Romney gave it a makeover.


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