February 14, 2011

Tell Congress: Don’t pull the plug on NPR and PBS!

This happens every time Republicans find themselves in any position of power, in the White House or any halls of government: their first priority is to defund public broadcasting as a way to start getting their nails into education, and of course to make sure they happily maintain an ignorant public that’s used to only taking news and reporting from the silver spoon of corporate media. And of course, it’s happening again now that the Rpeublicans have the gavels in the House – they’re already eager to slice and dice NPR and PBS’s paltry budgets, but you notice they shan’t dare touch tax breaks for the wealthy.

Lining the pockets of the rich is something America simply can’t afford NOT to do, but educate children and adults, and provide balanced reporting and in-depth analysis of the events of the day? That’s too much money.

Thankfully the fine folks at CREDO are making their – and by proxy, our – voices heard on the matter, and making sure that this Congress hears just as loudly as the Republicans who tried to do this last time heard, that it’s unacceptable:

We’re only a few weeks into the 112th Congress, and Republicans are already attempting to pull the plug on public media.

In a budget proposal made public on Wednesday, House Republicans announced plans to zero out all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the nonprofit responsible for funding public media including NPR, PBS, Pacifica and more.

If the Republicans are successful, it would be a tremendous blow to the entire public interest media sector.

We cannot allow Republicans to destroy public media.

Tell Congress: Fully fund NPR and defend public service media!

Republicans are disingenuously claiming that they need to cut funding for public media because of budgetary constraints. But what they fail to highlight is that national public broadcasting is remarkably cost effective, providing local news and information, free of charge, for millions of viewers while only receiving about .0001% of the federal budget.1

More to the point, it’s nearly impossible to put a price tag on the actual value of public broadcasting.

Public media is one of the last bulwarks against the corporate media, where the combination of consolidation and profit motive has long since shifted the focus to infotainment rather than substantive news. In many rural and less affluent communities, broadcasters rely on federal funding to provide the only available high-quality news and public affairs programming.

Without public media, corporate media monopolies would increase their already large control of what we see on television, hear on the radio or read in the newspaper.

This outcome should deeply worry all of us. The increased accumulation and consolidation of corporate power is a threat to our democracy. And nowhere is this more evident than in our media.

At a time when media consolidation is shrinking the number of perspectives we have access to over the airwaves and when newsrooms are shrinking, we need more diversity in our media not less. And we simply cannot afford to lose what public media brings to the table.

Tell Congress: Fully fund NPR and defend public service media!

Conservatives have longed for any opportunity to defund NPR, PBS and other public media. And with Speaker Boehner wielding the gavel, it looks like they may finally get their wish.

Don’t let Congress pull the plug on NPR and PBS! Tell them reject cuts to public broadcasting.

You can sign the petition at the link below. I strongly suggest contacting your Congressional delegation and let them know how appalled you are at the very notion, as well.

[ CREDO: Tell Congress: Don’t pull the plug on NPR and PBS! ]

New HRC Report Demonstrates Which Companies Support Workplace Equality

The wonderful thing about the Human Rights Council is that while one of their banner causes has been equal treatment of the LGBT community in all aspects of life, they also do great research and in-depth analysis as well as activism. One great example of this is the most recent workplace acceptance study, which went to a number of popular companies and workplaces in America to see how well they cope – if they’re friendly at all to it – with having LGBT individuals on staff.

The results are actually surprising – some companies that proudly fly their progressive colors in many cases are anything but accepting of gays and lesbians or transgendered people, and some old standard companies you would expect to be stodgy and conservative have very progressive human resource policies. Here’s a snippet of how the companies are judged, and one strong performer, Microsoft:

Businesses are rated on a scale from 0 to 100, based on whether or not they have policies that support LGBT employees. These include anti-discrimination protections, domestic partner benefits, diversity training and transgender-inclusive benefits. This year we provided an unofficial score to businesses that have not, after repeated attempts, responded to the survey. An unofficial score is reflective of the information that HRC has been able to collect without help or input from a business.

So Microsoft may have fared well in the study – and that’s likely part of the reason the company is an HRC National Partner. But how about some of the other companies that you likely shop with every day? They say vote with your wallet, and this is a great opportunity to find out how some of the companies you likely patronize treat their employees – regardless of their sexual orientation or expression.

[ HRC :: Buying for Workplace Equality 2011 ]