- The Washington Times
Saturday, April 4, 2020

One veteran media watchdog is not happy that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — CPB — received a tidy $75 million grant from the federal government as a part of the recent CARES Act, designated for coronavirus relief around the nation.

“We believe this was misguided. Just as Amazon, Microsoft, Ford Motor Corporation, and Starbucks have given so generously to help in the fight against COVID-19, so should the CPB give,” wrote Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, in an open letter to President Trump.

“The CARES Act is already law and the money the government issued to the CPB is unlikely to be returned. Regardless, it is worth noting what this money could have been spent on instead,” he said — noting that the grant could have instead purchased the following medical items: 300,000 Covid-19 test kits or 21,428 hospital beds — even 357,483,318 pairs of medical safety gloves or 12.5 million bottle of hand sanitizer

“At this point in our country’s history, all of these things are infinitely better uses of taxpayer money than giving it to left-wing outlets like NPR and PBS, both of which attack you and your administration continuously,” Mr. Bozell said, adding that the organization behind public broadcast already has an annual budget of $445 million.

“The CPB produces programs promoting values which many Americans just don’t agree with. The federal government, by funding CPB, is forcing Americans to support values they oppose,” he noted.

“No amount of classical music, Ken Burns documentaries, or ‘Morning Editions’ are worth one saved human life,” Mr. Bozell said.

“We are grateful for the strong bipartisan support that public media receives from Congress, especially during these challenging times. The $75 million in emergency funds will quickly help public media — especially our small and rural stations – preserve their ability to provide essential information, including public safety alerts, and educational programming and services to the American people,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in a statement emailed to The Washington Times.

“For example, WCTE public television in Cookeville, TN is — for some — the only television service residents in rural Putnam County receive. Especially now, public media is their link to education for their children, to vital safety information and to resources in the community. WCTE is just one example of the hundreds of public media stations across our country serving small towns and rural communities,” Ms. Harrison said.

“With over 90% of Americans being told to stay at home, public media’s services are a lifeline in every state to community resources, health and safety information, and the increased education needs of our nation’s children whose schools are closed,” the organization said in its own advisory.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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