Former Army General Stanley McChrystal is speaking out against cuts in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
“As our leaders in Washington confront tough decisions about our budget priorities, I urge them to continue federal funding for public broadcasting,”McChrystal wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. “Public broadcasting makes our nation smarter, stronger and, yes, safer.”
“It’s a small public investment that pays huge dividends for Americans. And it shouldn’t be pitted against spending more on improving our military. That’s a false choice,” he added.
The budget for the CPB is around $445 million annually. Last month, President Trump suggested in his budget outline to cut all federal funding to the organization — which supplies a significant source of funds for PBS and NPR. Meanwhile, Trump is proposing an increase in military spending by $54 billion over the next fiscal year.
“We need to defend against weaknesses within and enemies without, using the tools of civil society and hard power,” he said. “We don’t have to pick one over the other,” McChrystal argued in his op-ed.
McChrystal argues that more children are coming from single-parent homes or households in which both parents work full-time, so the need for broad, educational programming is dire.
“My son and daughter-in-law are a two-income family with two children, and day care is a part of their lives. Many other parents must get by without day care services. These parents are busy in the morning and busy at night,” Gen. McChrystal wrote. “They want to protect their children from over-commercialized content. And they strive to prepare their children for school and lifelong learning. Having thoughtful television, games and other media that is not commercially driven is essential to good parenting.”
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, over half of all kids in our country grow up with out access to a preschool program. Also research backs the fact that local PBS stations reach more children ages 2 to 5 than any other children’s network, and the new dedicated PBS Kids channel is the only free nationally broadcasted network for children that is entirely commercial-free.
Gen. McChrystal was fired by former President Barack Obama in 2011 in response to the late Michael Hastings’ profile of him in Rolling Stone, in which he openly criticized the Commander-in-Chief’s foreign policy.
Steven E. Johnson is a Mississippi-based author who covers racial justice and political issues for the Resistance Report. You can contact him at stevejlive at gmail dot com.