A Little Sunday Morning Rant

I just turned on PBS to see if there was something of mild educational value I could plop Thalia in front of while I (read blogs) checked my email and (read blogs) responded to some coworkers. Good mommy!

I tuned in just in time to hear that Buster is brought to me by the No Child Left Behind Act of the US Government.

We're now using children's PBS programming to promote failed educational initiatives of the Bush administration? One, I might add, that was revealed this week to be such a failure, that the feds are allowing states to underreport minority students' test scores in order to "prove" that the act is working?

I guess it should be renamed No Wealthy White Child Left Behind. And PBS should be renamed too. I don't think it belongs to the public anymore at all.


Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Ooooh, this kind of thing chaps my political scientist ass. Public Broadcast System does not mean Government Broadcast System. Because, um, Public and Government are not synonymous. Not, not, *not* a good thing when those lines get blurred. (We have trouble with this up in Canada, too, sometimes.)

Sorry that your Sunday mellow got harshed.

4/23/06, 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree but I think the whole PBS thing needs an overhaul. Some of the best, most sophisticated, extravagant, production facilities in the world are owned and operated by Public Broadcasting and yet, without fail, the pledge drives "to insure we can continue to bring you fine programming like..." continue like clockwork. I love the concept of public media I just have the feeling that it's not being run as intended. ...sorry for the rant.

4/23/06, 11:19 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Mind you, Buster almost got pulled from PBS due to the two mama episode. Ahhhh, PBS can now showcase the worst of our bureacracy in one program: the government can demonstrate it's unique style of injecting hatred into our everyday lives while promoting it's own idiocy.

4/23/06, 11:44 AM  
Blogger noncommon said...

i heard the "No Child Left Behind" plug once too. and i couldn't believe it. the whole issue is a bonafide joke. but you know what the argument is for this? the goverment has just as much of a right to plug themselves as the next guy. and honestly, there have been commercials on that 'commercial free' network for years now. that's when they lost me. public broadcasting "with the support of BIG CORPORATE AMERICA". i used to be a contributor - they never ran my commercial.

4/23/06, 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Yeah, PBS has sold out/been coopted by government interests/decreased in quality and originality of children's programming, etc.,

But I still freaked out when the government tried to cut tax-based funding for it recently, because I LOVES me some brief moments of uninterrupted blog-reading-- sanity-- oops, I mean housecleaning time brought to me courtesy of Sesame Street and Thomas and Friends.

4/23/06, 1:12 PM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

Wish I could comment on this intelligently. But as a Canuck, I am unfamiliar with this policy. However, any policy put forth by Bush, I tend to disagree with. Unfortunate that it is affecting the kiddies as such though.

Bush bastard.

4/23/06, 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PBS: in this instance, Political Bull Shit

4/23/06, 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. I turned it off when I saw McDonald's ads too.

And no child left behind really fucked everything up... For real.

4/23/06, 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Bush and his policies like crazy, I'm just not sure I understand this---NCLB isn't being promoted by PBS/Buster anymore than Juicy Juice is on the Arthur Show --they are a paid sponsor/advertiser. I'm not sure PBS is in the position of rejecting sponsors, esp. those from the government. THe fact that I disagree with the sponsor has more to say about the gov't in place who is pushing such asinine initiatives. If they were running a sponsor I thought was worthwhile, would the argument still be the same?

When I worked in media, PBS lost a lot of our ad dollars b/c they couldn't/wouldn't run explicit 'ads' touting the benefits of our products or even shots of the product itself. They have loosened up a bit over the years but they still tend to stick to a voiceover of the sponsor's name and a one-line tagline.

Now that I have (3) kids, I find that ads/sponsorships give me a chance to talk to my kids (ok, really only my oldest who is 5) about what they are trying to "sell" to us. In this case, I would say they are trying to sell us a crock of S*#T.

4/23/06, 2:16 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

The Bush Administration, its minions and its policies are like a cancer. Looks like my kids were maybe the last generation of pre-schoolers to enjoy a Bush-free PBS television viewing experience.

4/23/06, 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try being in Florida where the other Bush asswipe (the one with the Beverly Hillbillies nickname) has instituted another "fix our schools" policy known as the dreaded FCAT. We have two of those assholes trying to fix our schools, but really they just made them worse.

I think of it every time I see that thing on PBS.

Are you sensing my irritation?

4/23/06, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

And this is why I love reading your blog so much!

4/23/06, 3:59 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Holy shit. Mother-fucking Bush and his mother fucking administration and their bullshit viral infections. Is anything public anymore? For fucks sake. It's unbelievable. Bush needs to suck it. Him and his homies are the REAL weapons of mass destruction. Someone ought to invaid him.

4/23/06, 5:10 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Unfortunately, on Mr. TED KENNEDY is just as much, if not more, to blame for this ridiculous piece of legislation that is destroying schools and our educational system.

It should be called "No School Left Standing" because that is it's aim. To shut down public schools and move to a completely private system.

But if you (as I do, shudder) consider yourself a democrat you can't blame the whole thing this time on Bush.

4/23/06, 5:27 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Word. My kids just completed a week of CRCT testing. I'm probably the only mother in the state of Georgia who didn't make her kids go to bed an hour early, eat bean sprouts and liver for breakfast, and do timed practice drills.

We are fortunate to live in a district with very good schools, but the issues are there. They are everywhere. And something has to be done.

Every year about this time I start thinking that maybe my kids would be better off homeschooled. Then I remember who would, in fact, have to homeschool them.

4/23/06, 6:15 PM  
Blogger tracey clark said...

With a name like "No child left behind" they figure, hey, most of the mindless americans (over 1/2 the country who voted for W) who hear the name of this initiative won't question it because well, it just sounds so good. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

4/23/06, 6:28 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Christina/Kitty: You have a better perspective on this than any of us, having been a media planner. You raise excellent points. But it seems to me that NCLB isn't being promoted on any other channels. Just PBS. And so I'm guessing there's some strong-arming or otherwise sneaky stuff making that happen. Especially considering how they've broken the back of public television as well as NPR in the last five years.

I also wonder how the notion of equal time plays into this, or whether it could be regarded as political advertising (as opposed to, say, other government advertising initiatives like ONDCP's anti-smoking campaign).

I guess it's all new stuff to me--this advertising on PBS bit--not having older kids and all. So pardon me if I'm late to this party. I find myself yearning for the days that Sesame Street was simply brought to you by the letter C.

4/23/06, 7:07 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...


God I love my readers. All of you.

4/23/06, 7:09 PM  
Blogger Erin M said...

Izzy hit the nail on the head, we in florida are double bush screwed. Sponsers like NCLB are the reason WHY Buster almost got pulled for it's mama mama episode. PBS is not in a position to lose sponsers and has to bow to their whims like any other network. It's sad really, as mainstream big corperate and govenement sponsers invade the last frontier of television intellect it will ineviably be dumbed down to the lower denominator Next week on NOVA will soon become a cringe-worthy phrase

4/23/06, 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again,

You are totally right that NCLB is probably not being promoted on other stations---there is definitely a gov't agenda being pushed here and they are probably tying some of the funding of PBS in with a promise that PBS will run whatever messages the gov't wants to push. I just don't see this as an endorsement by PBS but as a sponsor message; sort of a subtle difference but it changes how I'd view the 'brought to you' message.

In MA, we have the MCAS which are being shoved down the throats of all students from 4th grade on up. Blog Antagonist, we are going to start homeschooling, so wish us luck. I hope I maintain my sanity but at least I won't have to rant against another gov't monopoly.

4/23/06, 10:02 PM  
Blogger J said...

Sorry...I posted this "FUCKERS" to the cute doggy post, when I meant to post it to the PBS selling their souls to the devil post. VERY sorry. Too much wine blogging.

4/23/06, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

actually J, sometimes I feel that way about them too.

4/23/06, 11:15 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

When this first rolled out I thought, yup ... no child left behind alright! They'll be sending these kids to the frontlines.

4/24/06, 1:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I heard that the other day too, and was like Greeeaaaat even PBS?!?!?! I mean I thought they were liberal!!! I mean they do play Dead Shows.... LOL

4/24/06, 3:01 PM  

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