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2nd District Candidates Weigh in on Funding for Public Broadcasting

pbs Flickr_ melanie.phung
PBS sign at Crystal City headquarters in Arlington, Virg. (Flickr Photo by melanie.phung)
Comments at the first presidential debate have brought the issue of public broadcasting funding into this election season. Two candidates for the 2
nd Congressional District also weighed in on the issue of public television and radio funding during a recent debate. Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins says she wouldn’t fire Big Bird, but she’d ask viewers to pay for the service. She held up a copy of the Constitution when asked about public broadcasting funding.

“Nowhere in this document do I see that that is a role of the federal government. And who missed that we’re $16 trillion in debt? Do I want to send my grandkids that aren’t even born yet the bill so they can watch PBS? Of course not. This is ridiculous. There are better ways to fund this service.”

The Democrat in the race, Topeka pastor Tobias Schlingensiepen, said he grew up watching the local public television station and would defend the service, as he put it, “with my life.”

“For me it’s one of the truly important news sources. I find it so much more informative than so many other, more commercial news sources. And the reason for that is that there is a real commitment to being balanced, which I’ve always appreciated. There are cultural programs, there are educational programs for children.”

Federal funding for public broadcasting is about $450 million out of a federal budget of more than $3.5 trillion.


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