In a recent post for the progressive website Common Dreams, consumer advocate and one-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader bemoaned public broadcasting in the United States. Created by the government “to provide serious programming without any advertisements,” the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio were designed as alternatives to commercial TV and radio, which, because of economic prerogatives, tended toward entertainment. Public broadcasting was meant to provide information that is edifying and useful.

Over the years, however, public broadcasters have been subjected to what Nader calls “continual right-wing antagonism” that has led to leaner government funding, thus forcing stations to depend on “support” from large corporations. Content is carefully curated so as not to upset these corporations, and programming has skewed toward the same mix of music and entertainment you find on commercial stations.

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