The Atlantic has a chart showing how harsh budget cutting at the state level has been on public broadcasting. I could be wrong about this, but I’m not troubled overmuch by the cuts to public television. There’s so much good programming available now, of the sort only public television used to do. But I am bothered by cuts to public radio. There is nothing like it. Like many people who love public radio, I grinch about this or that aspect of its programming, but boy, would my life be poorer without public radio. We who love public radio should support it with our contributions. I do believe, though, that there is a role for public funding of this community institution, just as there is a role for public funding of museums.
I understand if you disagree, as many, maybe most, conservatives do. There is a principled argument to be made against taxpayer subsidies for public broadcasting. But if you support, or have supported, giving tax abatements to sports team owners to build new stadiums or to keep your team in your city — benefits so generous ($9 billion over the past 10 years) that they dwarf public broadcasting funding cuts (an estimated $202 million since 2008)– you don’t really have much room to complain.