RUSH: John in Boca Raton, Florida, you’re welcome to join us next on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s a real honor to chat with you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’ve been listening to you for years. I just very quickly wanted to get your take on the future of public television, which most Americans know is PBS if you ask them what public television is. I’m asking because I’m the in the documentary business independently and I give programs free to independent stations, so I just want to get an idea from you, I got a certain opinion privately of PBS, and I just wanted to get a sense where you think public television and PBS, you know, is going and so forth.
RUSH: Well, I don’t think it’s going away. It’s a liberal institution, and —
RUSH: — it’s funded by the taxpayers, and with the libs breathing down everybody’s neck about the Fairness Doctrine and how unbalanced the media is. If somebody made a move to actually de-fund PBS, I mean there would be heart attacks, there would be nuclear warfare over this started by the left. PBS is not going to go anywhere, neither is NPR. That’s like saying what’s going to happen with CBS.
RUSH: CBS could implode, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric is imploding. PBS doesn’t need ratings because PBS doesn’t need viewers. PBS doesn’t sell advertising. All they need is a bunch of idiots to donate when they do their little pledge drives and their auctions and then the taxpayer money that they get and they can stay afloat and produce whatever they want.
RUSH: They don’t succumb to market pressures.
CALLER: That’s true.
RUSH: So you do documentaries for them?
CALLER: No, no. I am an independent company. I’m the president, CEO, and we give these programs to real public television, which is the individual stations all over the country.
CALLER: And then we have major global corporations and nonprofits that sponsor them. So we give the program to the stations, but PBS sells programming to those stations, which I know you’re aware of.
RUSH: Oh, I know every intricacy of how this whole network operates.
CALLER: So they regard us unfortunately as competition, but we’re out there independently working with, you know, like I said, the biggest names in medicine and the environment and so forth, and it’s tough —
RUSH: Okay, so you make your money selling your documentaries to local PBS affiliates?
CALLER: No, we give the programs to them. We also give them to the US government. Voice of America television.
RUSH: All right, now, wait. Wait, wait, wait. You’re going to have to help people understand, if you’re giving away your work, how are you earning money?
CALLER: We make money because we’ll do a documentary about an issue in medicine, a new medical device, a new drug, and we have corporations that sponsor those programs.
RUSH: A-ha. So you got underwriters?
CALLER: Right, exactly.
RUSH: And so the underwriters pay you more than what your actual production costs are and that’s how you get your profit.
CALLER: Right. They benefit from our economies of scale. We do hundreds of these a year.
RUSH: So that’s how you’re able to give away the programming to stations that PBS is also trying to sell programming to.
RUSH: And so you probably wouldn’t mind it if PBS, as a network, went down the tubes? Because you wouldn’t have a limitlessly funded competitor.
CALLER: Right, exactly. I’m a little guy, and they obviously regard little guys like me as competition.
RUSH: No, no, no, these are liberals. They love the little guy. You’re a victim, they ought to be subsidizing you. It’s just like Hillary and Obama, raised all this money, poor Bill Richardson didn’t have as much, when are Hillary and Obama going to start sharing what they have raised so it can be fair with these other Democrats? It’s an uneven playing field in the Democrat primary. Like you, you are a victim. You are a victim of a giant, massive bureaucracy, except this one’s run by liberals, and so you’re not actually looked at that way, you’re looked at as a little gnat.
RUSH: You know, you’re a competitor out there. You’re probably doing pretty good programming, and they’d like to find a way to snuff you out.
RUSH: Well, as long as you keep giving your programming away, you know, PBS is into that kind of thing.
RUSH: Do these PBS stations still do these telethons?
CALLER: Yes, they do indeed.
RUSH: You know, I used to be on those all the time. I was the local radio personality. I was on one in Pittsburgh, got thrown off one in Kansas City. (Laughing.) I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you for what, but it was one of my proudest days. They gave me the hook after my first segment. It was Channel 41 in Kansas City. Yeah. Well, you know, I was being me. And, PBS, stuffed shirt, buttoned down.
RUSH: You know, tell me, (doing voice of PBS) ‘What would you say were I to say to you…’ They put you to sleep here with their melodic tones, and I can’t tell you what I did, but I got thrown off. But I used to do those things, and that’s where I met Mr. Rogers in Pittsburgh. He was on one.
CALLER: Oh, that’s neat. That’s why they need this interstitial programming because they can’t afford for a viewer out of boredom to change the channel.
RUSH: All right, look, next time they do one of these telethons call in and give them $500 for the free earmuffs or whatever the prizes they give away. For PBS, remember, without your pledge, they can’t dust.