HolyCoast: Is It the Government's Job to Assimilate People Into American Culture?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Is It the Government's Job to Assimilate People Into American Culture?

David Brooks thinks so, and thinks that's the job of NPR and PBS:
What would American culture be without “PBS Newshour,” “Antiques Roadshow,” and “This Old House?” Forget about “American Idol,” Justin Bieber or the Major League Baseball because according to New York Times columnist and PBS contributor David Brooks a common culture might not be possible without the essential ingredients of public broadcasting.

In the wake of an indicting undercover video showing a now-former NPR executive making the case his company could survive without federal funding, Brooks appeared on Sunday’s “The Chris Matthews Show” and made the argument as to why the government should fund public broadcasting. His argument: To assimilate people.

“Here’s the case: You know we have a common culture,” Brooks said. “If we’re going to assimilate people, if we’re going to be one nation – it helps to have a common culture. There’s some things that do join us. And government has some role in help creating those things, in funding the things that join us.”
If it's the government's job to assimilate people into American culture they've done a lousy job. In fact, you can say they've done just the opposite with all the laws demanding accommodations for languages other than English. The government seems to go out of its way to keep people in their little subgroups rather than encourage them from embracing American culture.

Back in the days when there were three networks and only a handful of local channels you might have been able to make an argument for PBS. Today there are hundreds of channels available and it's no longer necessary to have a government funded channel. Good programming will find sponsorship and can continue to survive without our tax dollars.

1 comment:

Larry said...

If assimilating foreigners into American culture is one of PBS's objectives, then why were they trying to get $5 million in sponsorship from a group (they thought was) pushing sharia law?