Monday, August 16, 2004

The Trouble With PBS

Eric Alterman wrote a column in the Nation bemoaning PBS's decision to air a Wall Street Journal editorial page round-table regularly. PBS is, of course, free to run whatever shows they want to, and I find this more amusing than anything else. Who is the head of programming at PBS? Or, more specifically, who thought that a right-wing chat show that flopped on CNBC was likely to improve its ratings on PBS?

Anyway, pace Alterman, the Poor Man gets to the root of the problem at PBS:
1:30 PM - Your Dumb Kids Don’t Know Shit How on Earth a show which spends 30 minutes explaining the color red can be considered “educational”, I’ll never know. It’s the color red. I think everyone figured it out. The rug understands it. At this rate, I’ll know half the alphabet by the time I’m 37. Let’s pick up the pace a bit.

2:30 PM – Arthur What is Arthur supposed to be, exactly? His friend is a rabbit, but he’s … what? A hedgehog? A vole? Certain thing need to be cleared up before I can enjoy a TV show, and “what kind of talking animal are you?” is a question I expect to be answered up front.

3:30 PM – Clifford the Big Red Dog The people who drew He-Man make fun of this cartoon. What are there, seven frames of animation a minute? Is it being drawn in real time? I know this is PBS, but really.

4:00 PM – Cyberteen’s Radical Learning Adventures

5:00 PM – BBC World News News sounds better with a BBC accent. This show is filmed in Boise.

6:00 PM - Super Boring Business Hour Today a lot of boring things happened and now you're out of work. Remember how we said the stock market was the way to go? Not really.

7:00 PM - News Hour With Jim Lehrer Peter Jennings whips through this same stuff in half an hour. What's Jim's problem? Everyone take notes, because this is what socialism's like.

8:00 PM – Antiques Roadshow This is porn for my parents. This and the real estate channel are like porn with crack on top as far as they're concerned. “Oh, can you believe how much they want for that?” “Oh, I’d like to have one of those!” And then they scrape around the attic, and wonder aloud if their old Ricky Nelson records might be worth something. I don’t want to get old.


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