The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 13, 2012

Not to sound like Oscar the Grouch, but Legislature should leave OETA state funding alone

Certain legislators recently targeted the Oklahoma Television Authority, the state’s public television station, to such a degree that it nearly was eliminated as an agency.

OETA narrowly avoided elimination in a Senate committee meeting by a single, last-minute vote, according to The Oklahoman. Fortunately, two proposals to cut annual funding of around $4 million are likely dead this session. (Remember, this is the TV station that televises “Sesame Street.”)

Elmo was on death row, but he has been spared … for now. According to The Oklahoman, OETA nearly died from inaction because legislation authorizing the public-private partnership reportedly was due to expire unless it was reauthorized this year (and a Republican senator thankfully changed his vote to pass it out of committee). Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, hopes the bill will pass the full Senate.

Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Tuttle, earlier introduced and then withdrew a bill to phase out OETA funding. The lawmaker still opposes the state agency, reportedly claiming private donors would be enough to supplement funding for public television. We don’t believe that.

OETA’s scrutiny didn’t end there. During one hearing, the Oklahoma Gazette reported Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus, questioned using state funds to air programs “that (show) we developed from monkeys, apes, or whatever, and we came down off the trees and those that were left behind were just left behind.”

John McCarroll, executive director of OETA, maintains that education is one of government’s core functions.

“We feel like OETA is in the education business,” McCarroll told the Gazette. “We have teachers, we have homeschoolers, we have GED teachers who depend on that programming and also lifelong learners. People who are older and want to learn about nature or science or the arts, and the only place you’re going to do that is on OETA.”

Targeting public television is misguided. In its history, OETA has aired excellent programming ranging from children’s shows such as “Curious George” to the investigative “Frontline” public affairs program to less innocuous shows as “The Lawrence Welk Show,” “Fawlty Towers” and the award-winning documentaries of Ken Burns.

We’re tickled for Elmo and his extended life. Now, excuse us as we curl up on the couch tonight and watch B.J. Wexler’s OETA Movie Club.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg The kingdom of heaven

    Happened upon an online video the other day, replaying the 9/11 attacks on America for the umpteenth time in my viewing, and it never ceases to make the blood boil a bit, the anger well up, the sadness rekindle of that terrible day in American history.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legitimate governor's race should include substantive discussion

    In mid-July, a poll from the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports stated Fallin to be in “a surprisingly close contest.” Fallin led Dorman only 45 percent to 40 percent, according to this telephone survey of 750 likely Oklahoma voters.

    August 1, 2014

  • For the VA: A fix, not a bandage

    Fortunately, Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson has provided the road map leading Conferees to this solution. He recently testified that after re-examining VA’s resource needs in light of the scandal, $17.6 billion in supplemental funding is required between now and the end of fiscal year 2017.

    August 1, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Laugh early, laugh often, laugh at everything, especially yourself

    Laughing is good for you. It boosts your heart rate and helps burn calories. It helps improve blood flow, relieves stress, strengthens the immune system, lowers blood sugar levels and improves sleep.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prioritize funding an Ebola vaccine before it’s too late

    “The matter has reached a crisis point,” Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told CNN’s Richard Quest. “The dire prognosis is that it will get worse before it gets better.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Letters.jpg Letter: Concerned about EHS sports season tickets

    I have no children at Enid Public Schools anymore, but enjoy the football, soccer and volleyball events.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters.jpg Letter: Give a hoot about bald, golden eagles, too

    The Environmental Protection Agency has stringent rules about covering these tanks, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service levies heavy fines for violations of these rules, especially when it causes the death of any wildlife.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire training tower at Autry Tech will be asset to area fire departments

    We can guarantee it’s going to prove to be a valuable facility for fire departments.

    July 30, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-31-2014

    Am on Presidential train and with Ambassador Morrow have just inspected Government agricultural schools and big water project.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Broadway Tower_Sheet Rock Delivery_1_BV.jpg Bringing Broadway back to life

    Back in 2012, we hoped the third time would be the charm for the historic Broadway Tower after an investment group announced plans to rehabilitation Enid’s iconic building.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Featured Ads
House Ads