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Wednesday, 26 November 2008

WHYY Begs to Differ


By Richard Carreño
Junto Staff Writer

The controversy regarding Bill Marrazzo's pay is a storm at sea. In other words, a diversion. Back on land, the darker problem is WHYY's overall funding, including the charade that it's a "public" outlet.

Let's get real. Over the years, what was once considered "public" radio and TV have morphed into another commercial conglomerate. Witness the stealth ads that appear with almost as much frequency as those on for-profit stations. ("Manny's used car dealership is a proud supporter," etc. Yeah, sure.)

Not only is WHYY not public (apart from those suckers in the public who donate), it suffers from a kind of Soviet-style blandness. This is the consequence of not trying to defy its paymasters in Washington. These, of course, thanks to Bush (yes, another Bush intrigue), are political hacks who.... well, you know.
True public broadcasting should be funded by a tax (à la the BBC). Those upset about Marrazzo's salary should really be complaining of WHYY's con job that hoodwinks the public into pouring money into an empty vessel.