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January 27, 2005

PBS/WGBH gets SpongeBobbed

Ugh. In lieu of pushing the anti-marriage constitutional amendment (a certain loser in the Senate), the Bush administration is pandering to its homophobe base with micro-initiatives, like this (hat tip to Josh Marshall):

This week, the new US secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, denounced PBS for spending public funds to tape an episode of a children's program that features [Karen] Pike, a lesbian, her partner, Gillian Pieper, and their 11-year-old daughter, Emma. The installment of ''Postcards From Buster," which is produced locally at WGBH-TV (Channel 2) and which had been scheduled to air March 23, was promptly dropped by PBS, which is refusing to distribute the footage to its 349 member stations.

You know what? Let's have this discussion. Let's rise to the bait: Gay people are real. Their relationships are real. Their love is real. They have real families. It's not shocking to show that to kids, and I'll bet it didn't even occur to the WGBH folks that it was a big deal. It's not. (Maybe we should be grateful to Mrs. Spellings for the opportunity to talk about this in a post-election context.)

These people are bullying our friends, neighbors, and relatives. There's decent pushback from Terry McAuliffe in the article -- who else will stand up?  

Here's a great nugget -- the northeastern chauvinist in me can't resist:

At least one member station said that it would not air the episode, even though WGBH will make it available. Jeanette Thornbrue, a manager in the programming department at OETA-TV (Channel 11) in Oklahoma City, said her station will download whatever is on the PBS satellite feed that day instead.

''Oklahoma is very conservative," she said. ''We've had off-the-wall phone calls when nothing was happening." She added that one viewer complained about an episode of ''Teletubbies" in which the characters were dancing. ''They thought that was too much," she said.

And they think we're weird.

Posted by Charley on the MTA at 11:23 AM in Massachusetts, National | Permalink

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In case you missed it, PBS will not distribute an episode of "Postcards From Buster" - made right here at our very own WGBH - because Education Secretary Margaret Spellings complained because it shows Arthur the Aardvark's best friend visiting... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 27, 2005 8:46:36 PM

Comments

Not to point out any facts or anything, but according to what I've read, the Department of Education paid for programs to improve academic achievement in children. Now, if that's the truth, then to me it seems they have every right to pull funding when the product that was delivered didn't meet the requirements for funding.

Posted by: Joseph | Jan 27, 2005 11:50:08 AM

Okay, so the requirements for funding were "NO DAMNED QUEERS, PLEASE?"

If the show was about different kinds of families, then a same-sex couple is a perfectly legitimate topic to broach. I'm sick of people claiming to stand for family values on one hand and actively trying to break-up real families on the other.

Posted by: Jugwine | Jan 27, 2005 12:23:42 PM

Joseph,

Thanks for writing, and for pointing out the "facts". Very helpful indeed. I have a question for you:

Was there a requirement that gay families be actively *excluded* from programming? Does that preclude the show from fulfilling its mission?

I'm interested to hear your answer.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Jan 27, 2005 4:08:05 PM

For Buster

Silly wabbit =:]
tricks must be all the str8s
want to perpetuate about the
queers, who to you were all
ears, since we understand
the VT families volunteered
and now must worry and
fear, since the tiny minds could not
be truly like their christ
and act nice, show that our families
can be sugar and spice all
the while they happily view shows that send
their likes to islands of
vice.
where marriage is a game meant
to tempt each other out of
holy matrimony and goad each on to win
big bux by lying to a spouse while
denying the fags & dykes a real civil Right
where the only wish is to declare love
and have an opportunity to visit, support and hold each other in
plain sight


Power the bunny - Thank you Buster.
Spadlo

Be a real lezzie:
Buck Fush

Posted by: spadlo | Jan 27, 2005 6:48:03 PM

Greatest. Comment. Ever.

Spadlo, if we had a t-shirt, I'd send you a box of 'em. Thanks for making my night.

Peace out.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Jan 27, 2005 10:27:35 PM

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