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Comments by YACCS
Friday, December 31, 2004

You want MY money?


Why pay him to get the official story?


Alice Marshall sent this to me and since it was posted on her blog, I won't redact her name.

Keep in mind that we will be fundraising in the New Year. My soccer jersey collection needs more additions. And there is that Fragbox I need to challenge all the kool kids on the block. In that vein, here's a snarky reply to a PBS fundraising letter.

Oh yeah, while I won't tell people to give to Tsunami relief through me, a portion of the money raised in the next fundraising drive will be sent to various charities. Most likely, direct funds to bloggers in the region to help defray their costs.

Letter from Susan Richmond

Dear Ms. Marshall:

I’m tempted to say we’re at our wit’s end. But wit - like art, insight and drama - is one of those precious commodities we make it our business to keep in abundance at WETA TV and FM.

Perseverance is another. It has to be, because only one out of every 8 viewing and listening household is a member of WETA.

Surprised it is that high.

That’s a difficult ratio to accept because we are a membership-based station. In fact, WETA is one of the few community-licensed stations in the country. We truly depend on individuals like you. If we had only viewers and listeners but no members, WETA just wouldn’t be around.


All the more reason to respect the moral values of our community: due process, democracy and national security. Both the NewsHour and Washington Week in Review, produced by WETA, were complicit in the trashing of the grand jury process during the Whitewater and impeachment inquisition. Both were complicit by silence in the theft of Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Both have failed to adequately cover the well documented problems with electronic voting and voter suppression. Neither show could find anyone to say, on the air, that the betrayal of a CIA case officer was a heinous crime.

We wish we knew how to inspire you to join us.

Fire the apparatchiki and replace them with journalists.

If we haven’t already done so, perhaps this will do it:

Escalating program costs are threatening our ability to continue carrying all the programs you look for and enjoy on WETA. That’s because without your support, we can’t afford the five- and six- figure price tags of high-quality television and radio.


Economize, end nepotism, dump Unfiltered.

In addition we need to raise more than $5,000,000 this year to meet our programming and production budget.

During this time of great fiscal challenge to all in public broadcasting, the future of WETA lies more in your hands than ever before Ms. Marshall. That’s why we can’t stop asking you to become a member of WETA. Without you, we can’t continue to provide the outstanding programs you expect from us.

Since our inception in 1961, WETA has been a leading creative force in public broadcasting. In addition to the arts and entertainment programs we offer, we have a special niche in covering the day’s national and international news. Can you imagine PBS without THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER?


Yes!

Of course, today’s world, covering the news is more challenging than ever before - and it costs more too.


So how come bloggers like Dave Johnson and Steve Gilliard do so much better?

As our expenses soar, it becomes more and more difficult for us to continue providing the top-notch news coverage you’ve come to expect from WETA.


Top notch? Sock puppets for crony capitalism would be closer to the mark.

That’s why we need people like you to join - so WETA’s future will be as brilliant as our past.

CLEAR THE SKIES, MASTERPIECE THEATRE, MYSTERY!, ARE YOU BEING SERVED? and SKINWALKERS: AN AMERICAN MYSTERY SPECIAL are just a few in a long list of programs that make WETA the channel you turn to when you want the highest quality shows - ones you simply can’t find on commercial television.

And what would the Greater Washington area be like without WETA 90.9 FM?


Like WAMU 88.5, whose programming you duplicate.

With favorites such as MORNING EDITION

Favorite?! Morning Edition? How many members did you lose when you took away our lovely commercial-free classical music only to duplicate WAMU’s programming? At the time of the change it was announced that while classical music was popular with members, corporate donors preferred Morning Edition, even though Washington already had access to Morning Edition. You made your choice, bring back Mozart in the morning or go cry to your Philistine corporate donors.

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION as well as CLASSICAL MUSIC, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

Given that All Things Considered has been infiltrated by operatives for Richard Scaife and Howard Ahmanson, perhaps it would be better to drop it.

and CAR TALK, 90.0 AM is an essential part of our community life.

In an election year like this one, WETA plays an even more important role in the Greater Washington community. Thousands of viewers and listeners tuned in for our acclaimed election coverage - comprehensive, unbiased and focused on issues rather than personalities. The lively and constructive debate we presented helped thousands of people stay involved and cast and educated vote.


Your election coverage was a study in the lies of silence, silence about Bush’s record as a deserter, silence about Sproul Associates conspiracy to suppress the vote, silence about all the things that matter.

WETA is one of 349 public broadcasting stations in America. But we are one of the most prolific stations when it comes to creating original TV programs:

THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, REPORTING AMERICA AT WAR, IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, JAZZ, WASHINGTON WEEK, AVOIDING ARMAGEDDON, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, THE BLUES, KEN BURNS’s, BASEBALL, ON STAGE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER: THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE, THE CIVIL WAR, SILVER SPRING: STORY OF AN AMERICAN SUBURB, MONEY HELP IS ON THE WAY: A JONATHAN POND SPECIAL FOR WETA VIEWERS, and WASHINGTON OPERA GALA.

Won’t you please join us as a partner in the WETA public broadcasting enterprise by becoming a member right now - and help us bring you more great programs in the future? Please let us know that we’ve earned your membership. If you do, WETA will never be at the end of its wit, wisdom, culture, variety or any of the programming you count on.


Sincerely,
Susan Richmond
Senior Vice President

P.S. At a time of great fiscal challenge to all in public broadcasting, the future of WETA lies more in your hands than ever before. Please share our future by joining with a gift of $35 or more. We need you. Send your support today.


A gift of $35 will generate $100 dollars worth of direct mail appeal. Dump your direct-mail contractor, they are bleeding you white.

Many readers ask me why I pick on the NewsHour and Washington Week. After all, aren’t all the other broadcast news operations much worse?

WETA is produced by our community, and reflects upon us. When Jim Lehrer or Gwen Ifill lie, and the Board of Trustees tolerate that lie, they are complicit. If we allow this to be done night after night, week after week, our community is complicit. I am not suggesting my readers refrain from contributing to WETA, far from it. I suggest that you let them know that you object to the corrupt nature of these shows.


Oh, I would. I would suggest you not send PBS a fucking dime until they air programming reflecting the concerns of people who give them money. NPR is totally useless and corrupt and PBS skates by with minimally effective newscasting. It isn't just the news shows which are corrupt. You have all manner of snake oil salesmen during their fundraising drives. Facelift in a bottle anyone? Gary Null? Come on. PBS doesn't have nearly the ethical standards it should and supporting it is pointless.

posted by Steve @ 11:02:00 AM

11:02:00 AM

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