Tuesday, April 26, 2005

On A Terrible Answer

The most recent New York Times Magazine has an interview with PBS' interim president, Ken Ferree. During the interview, the reporter asked him what PBS shows he liked and he answered:
I'm not much of a TV consumer. I like ''Masterpiece Theater'' and some of the ''Frontline'' shows. I like ''Antiques Roadshow'' and ''Nova.'' I don't know. What's your favorite show?
What a lousy answer from the head of a public corporation whose budget Congress has just cut by around 15%. How can he begin to make the case to Congress that public TV is important when he doesn't even seem to watch it himself? Deborah Soloman, the reporter, even gives him a chance to make amends:
For the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, you don't sound like much of a PBS viewer. Perhaps you prefer NPR, which your organization also finances?
There: a chance to say that TV's not his thing, but that his life is really much better because of what PBS does. But, what does he say?
No. I do not get a lot of public radio for one simple reason. I commute to work on my motorcycle, and there is no radio access.
Commutes on a motorcycle--what a lame excuse!


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