It is no secret that the Republican machine has targeted PBS as not only a "waste of American tax dollars but a biased and left leaning orgainazation". Well, it is likely difficult to define anything as such when "fox and friends" is the news source choice for republicans wanting to live in the party line. As most Americans, I occasionally watch news from a variety of sources - except the newspaper. In my town, it is a joke. Still, even still, I find that I typically receive the "headline" type of news -- 'if it bleeds, it leads' stuff. Real understanding and real news cannot be wrapped up in 2 minutes so the commercial can be played.
And, that my friends, is the diference between the network news organizations and PBS. The role of the network news in today's time is to enlighten a bit, entertain a bit, and sell product a lot. Okay, the purpose is to sell product. These are businesses, and like all business the goal is to create and maintain a happy customer. PBS has no real commercials. They have sponsors, of course. But, the sponsorship is in addition to the public money in the form of tax dollars and donations. The goal of PBS is not to sell product, it is to educate.
I realize this is all understood, and I'm probably simply telling you what you already know. I knew it too, and were it not for taking the moment to do a bit of searching for things about tornados, I would likely not have bothered going to the PBS page. I would be much the poorer for that. I have really enjoyed and come to better understand a great deal of the goings on in the world by these stories that aren't governed by needing to fit in between another advertisement for better living through chemicals and the fluff pieces that make everyone smile and believe all is well in the world.
So far tonight I've come to understand the role global warming does and does not play in the rash of tornados this year; the stability and lack there of in African countries; the reclaiming of blighted towns, and since I'm writing this before I've managed to see it all, who knows what's next. I also watched a neat short story told in first person by a veteran of WW2. I'm excited to actually learn about something with some depth.
Here is the link I am using: http://video.pbs.org/video/1954884553 but you could likely just use the pbs.org and go from there. It's truly a gold mine, and I feel much richer for my time spent there this today. -randy.