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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Loving the tote bag pitch

If you think public broadcasting pledge drives are annoying, consider the options: campaign ads.

That's a very real possibility as the courts look to eliminate the last bastion of sanity against the excess in election years as candidates and PACs bombard us with innuendo and venom.

Local public broadcasters are taking a non-committal attitude toward the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that an existing ban on such ads violates the First Amendment, and that running them would not undermine public broadcasting’s mission.

But images of the giant pots of lucre opened by the Citizens United decision have to be dangling in the eyes of executives who now hawk tote bags and DVDs to raise cash,

The ultimate irony could well be yet another market for conservative candidates to peddle their messages, an outlet they have fought tooth and nail, trying to deny any remaining glimmer of public funding. While it amounts to small change on the balance sheets of some large operations, it is vital aid in small markets.

It's undoubtedly also an appealing thought that they might puncture what many conservatives consider the last outpost of liberal thought.

I have my issues with public radio -- esoterica interspersed with begging for cash. But I would much prefer that to the seepage of politically financed bile into the last redoubt of quasi-civility in American life.

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