All those letters — what do they mean to Congress?

For an industry that has “elitist” planted on its back like a hard-to-reach sticky label, the most critical piece of public broadcasting’s campaign to save itself may be the grassroots response. Opponents of CPB funding in Congress complain they’re swamped with calls and some charge that pubcasters, because they get federal funds, can’t legally lobby. Stations argue that they are within their rights as long as they don’t use federal money to lobby. When constituent calls and letters reach a “critical mass,” they penetrate
even the toughest mind-sets in Congress, said Bond. “Constituents always can make a difference.