Tuesday, April 26, 2005

PBS Calling

I had an interesting call this evening from the local PBS channel. Around 7:15PM CST a young lady called and identified herself as being from channel 9 KETC St. Louis and PBS. She was pleasant and upbeat and pretty much a perfect telemarketer. She quickly read off her pitch card ensuring that there was no pause in the pitch that would allow any comment or response from me. That's the way all fund raising organizations do it these days, recite the script without pause and without allowing any response until the end. If they get you to the end of the pitch, the statistics show that they have a much higher probability of getting you to contribute.

She cited all the positive reasons that I should renew my contribution and how valuable PBS must be to me. The children's educational programs dedicated to educating our youth (this point is true), the adventure programs that takes us all on escapes into the wild from the comfort of our homes, and as she identified it the "current events" that PBS keeps us connected to. Then she ended with "I'm sure you would like to renew your pledge from last year of $150.

I calmly explained to the young lady that no, I would not be pledging any money to PBS this year. She then asked me why I had decided not to give. I then explained to her that PBS both locally and nationally had veered much too far to the left politically and in my opinion had assumed an activist role for the ultra-liberal cause. I explained to her that I was of the moderate conservative political standing, and could not support an organization that had become so outwardly bias in their coverage of the politics of our day. There was a long pause from the young lady, then she asked if "I still saw the value of PBS and was I sure that I did not want to contribute".

I then explained to her that I see value in organizations that present both sides of an issue and present the facts in an unbiased manner which allows the viewer to take the information and make up their minds based on the facts presented. I explained to her that I did not appreciate or gain value from people at PBS like Bill Moyers who consistently degrading people of faith like me because he is an atheist and thinks those of faith are idiots. I told her that the liberal bias that is clearly evident in the Newshour with Jim Lehrer program is not of viewing quality for me personally because of its political activist agenda. I explained that the Socialist Democrat mouth piece programs like Washington Week, Tony Brown, BBC World News, and American Experience, were so out of touch with my views and mainstream Americans that I simply in good concise could not donate. She paused again and then said something very interesting, which was " I have heard that a lot this evening".

I told her to note on my account to call me back next year and if PBS moved to the center and began presenting the news of the day in an unbiased and moderate fashion, and shed the role of being the Socialist Democrat movement mouth piece, then I would certainly donate next year. There was a long pause and then she thanked me for my time and the feedback.

PBS asking me, a moderate conservative to support them with an in kind donation above the tax revenue they get from me currently with the content they put out from a political perspective, curious at best. I think it will be very interesting to see what the fund raising results of PBS are this year and how that might reflect where we are at as a country on the political spectrum. My sense from the call is that there is a very strong turn right, even in the very liberal neighborhood of KETC Channel 9 St. Louis.