Labeling public broadcasting “a national treasure,” Vice President Al Gore announced that the White House intends to battle Republicans “every step of the way” to preserve public TV and radio.
Gore offered the Clinton administration’s first defense of continued federal support for pubcasting during a March 2 speech at American University here. His speech came just before Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee voted March 2 to slash 15% from the Corp. for Public Broadcasting budget in 1996, and 30% from CPB’s budget for 1997.
Gore said he and President Clinton view public TV and radio “as a sound investment and a sound federal policy and a great value.”
Gore noted that taxpayers pony up just $1.09 per person per year for public broadcasting. “If you’re (“Sesame Street” character) Oscar the Grouch, that might be something to complain about…. “But if you’re like most Americans, you will see what a great value this is.”
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has said he intends to “zero out” public broadcasting.