Conservative libertarian defends public broadcasting

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Here’s a look at public broadcasting funding from a unique point of view: a fiscal conservative who is also a social libertarian. Bill Shireman heads up Future 500, a nonprofit that works to “transform fruitless ideological battles by redirecting corporations and stakeholders to understanding the systemic roots of problems and their solutions.” In his piece on Huffington Post, he admits there are plenty of good reasons to get government funding out of media. “But the realist in me — the one that actually listens to both commercial and public media — sees something different.”

“The overwhelming onslaught of advertising leaves us impoverished, when it comes to thoughtful, humane programming,” he writes. “We need genuine choice in media. Right now, public broadcasting offers one important choice.”

“PBS is fundamentally different from Fox or MSNBC, the conservative and liberal champions of commercial media. It is calm, thoughtful, measured, and introspective. It triggers not my passions and impulses, but my intellect. Even if I disagree — as I often do — I feel like I am more grounded and thoughtful when I listen to PBS.”

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