PBS & You

PBS & You


>>>GOOD EVENING, WELCOME CO”METROFOCUS.” I’M RAPHAELFPHAEL P ROMAN. LEGISLATION THAT WOULD TRANSFORM THE COUNTRY’S MEDIA LANDSCAPE. THE BILL WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE GREAT SOCIETY. AND THROW THE YEARS PUBLIC MEDIAL STATIONS ACROSS ALL 50 STATES STAY TRUE TO THEIR MISSION OF EDUCATING, INFORMING AND INSPIRING. TO MARK THE OCCASION WE’RE HONORED TO WELCOME TWO OF PRESIDENT JOHNSON’S CLOSEST ALLIES IN THE WHITE HOUSE, JOSEPH CALIFANO, SERVE IN THE CARTER AMOUNT AND LBJ SPECIAL ASSISTANT OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS AND THE “THE NEW YORK TIMES” CALLED HIM THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT FOR DOMESTIC 0 FAIRS OPEN ENBILL MOYERS WAS PRESIDENT JOHNSON’S PRESS SECRETARY. HE WENT ON TO BECOME A MULTIAWARD WINNING TELEVISION JOURNALIST AT CBS, NBC AND MANY YEARS RIGHT HERE ON PBS. WELCOME, GENTLEMEN. IT’S AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU HERE.>>GOOD TO BE HERE.>>I WOULD LIKE FOR BOTH OF YOU TO ANSWER THIS BUT BILL, LET ME GO TO YOU FIRST. TAKE US BACK 50 YEARS. WHAT WAS THE NEED THAT THIS BILL WAS TRYING TO ADDRESS AND WHY WAS 1967 THE YEAR THAT IT HAPPENED?>>IT HAPPENED BECAUSE IT TOOK JOE THAT MUCH TIME TO GET THE LEGISLATION PASSED. IT WAS INSPIRED IN 1964 BY CREATIVE THINKING ABOUT HOW DO WE TAKE THE MANY EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION STATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY, MOST OF THEM ATTACHED TO A SCHOOL BOARD OR UNIVERSITY AND TURN THEM INTO A NATIONAL SERVICE FOR PUBLIC TELEVISION AND PUBLIC RADIO. LBJ SENT ME OVER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.>>THERE WAS ONE THEN. 1964, A FEW MONTHS AFTER HE HAD BEEN CATAPULTED INTO THE WHITE HOUSE DUE TO THE TRAGEDY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY’S ASSASSINATION. AATTENDED A MEETING TO SAY WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO TURN THESE EDUCATIONAL STATIONS INTO PUBLIC BROADCASTING ON A NATIONAL LEVEL. LBJ WAS REALLY INTERESTED. AS A SENATOR HE OWNED A RADIO AND TELEVISION STATION IN AUSTIN, TEXAS. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS WANTED TO START A PUBLIC BROADCASTING NONPROFIT NETWORK. SO BOB SHINKEN WAS A LOCAL CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN ASKED TO HEAD THAT ORGANIZATION, A REALLY GREAT GUY. HIS SON, ROBERT, HAS WRITTEN TWO PLAYS ABOUT LBJ. HE HAD TO GET JOHNSON’S PERMISSION FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS TO COMMISSION THAT NONPROFIT EDUCATIONAL PUBLIC TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION. HE WENT TO SEE JOHNSON IN THIS. I BELIEVE IN THIS, COMMERCIAL TELEVISION IS NEVER GOING TO BE THE GREAT TEACHER OF A COUNTRY. I BELIEVE PUBLIC BROADCASTING CAN BE. HE WAS VESTED WHEN JOHN GARDNER CAME TO SEE US AT THE WHITE HOUSE.>>SO A BILL LIKE THIS WOULDN’T PASS NOW. WAS IT A TOUGH SELL EVEN BACK IN ’67?>>LBJ PROPOSED IT, FOCUSED ON THE EDUCATIONAL CAPACITY. HE SET IT UP. IT WAS PASSED WITHIN EIGHT MONTHS. AND REMEMBER WITHIN THOSE EIGHT MONTHS THEY ALSO HAD THEIR AUGUST VACATION AND ALL OF THAT STUFF AND HE SIGNED IT IN NOVEMBER OF ’67.>>BIPARTISAN SUPPORT?>>BIPARTISAN SUPPORT ALL THE WAY.>>WOW. WHAT’S THAT LIKE, I WONDER.>>THE FIRST CHAIR OF THIS WAS MILTON EISENHOWER, REPUBLICAN, WHO LBJ NAMED.>>SMART MOVE.>>IT WAS A BIPARTISAN BOARD. I THINK THERE’S A PIECE OF CURRENCY THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT. THERE ARE NOW OVER 350 PUBLIC TELEVISION STATIONS AND 1,000 PUBLIC BROADCASTING RADIO STATIONS. AND THE PEOPLE SAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULDN’T SPEND THIS MONEY. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PUTS UP A LITTLE OVER $400 MILLION. PRIVATE DONATIONS ARE $2 BILLION, NOT COUNTING WHAT THE STATES CONTRIBUTE. THE 50 STATES CONTRIBUTE MONEY. IF YOU CAN KEEP THAT IN, THERE’S $6 OF PRIVATE AND STATE MONEY FOR EVERY DOLLAR OF FEDERAL MONEY. IT’S THE BEST DEAL THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EVER MADE. AND THE ONE OTHER THING, TALK IT’S PROBABLY THE LAST PLACE IN THIS COUNTRY, ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, ALL OF THESE STATIONS HAVE BOARDS. THESE BOARDS HAVE REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, CONSERVATCONSERVATIV LIBERALS, LIBERTARIANS ON THEM. THEY’RE COMMUNITY BOARDS. IT IS THE GREATEST GRASS ROOTS OPERATION WE HAVE IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY.>>THERE WAS A CONSENSUS AT THE TIME, RAPHAEL, LBJ EMBRACED IT COMPLETELY, THAT COMMERCIAL TELEVISION HAD ALREADY BEEN CAUGHT IN THE LITTLE LIES AND FANTASIES OF MERCHANDISING. AND THAT THE PEOPLE RUNNING PUBLIC — RUNNING COMMERCIAL TELEVISION, NOT BAD PEOPLE BUT THEY WERE MARKETING PEOPLE. THEY LOOKED OUT AND SAW A NATION OF CONSUMERS WHO WE HAD TO SELL SOMETHING. NOT A NATION OF CITIZENS WHO COULD LEARN SOMETHING FROM WHAT WE DO. THERE WAS A CONSENSUS THAT THERE NEEDED TO BE ONE CHANNEL ON THE SPECTRUM THAT WAS FREE OF COMMERCIALS AND COMMERCIAL VALUES AND THAT WAS A POWERFUL GRAVITATING SUMMONS AT THE MOMENT TO ESTABLISH IN PUBLIC BROADCASTING AND PUBLIC RADIO.>>IN THE INTRODUCTION I SAID THAT THIS ACT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF LBJ’S GREAT SOCIETY. WAS I TELLING THE TRUTH? WAS IT AN IMPORTANT PART?>>ABSOLUTELY. THIS WAS AN INTEGRAL PART. THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES IS AN INTEGRAL PART. EDUCATION WAS VERY IMPORTANT. REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO EDUCATION. WE TALKED ABOUT PRESCHOOL TODAY LIKE IT’S A NEW THING. HEAD START IS THE BIGGEST PRESCHOOL PROGRAM IN HISTORY. FROM HEAD START THROUGH ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, THROUGH THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT THAT GAVE SCHOLARSHIPS. THROUGH THIS, BILL IS RIGHT. HE SAW IT AS EDUCATING THE PUBLIC.>>THE FIRST BIG SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING WAS SESAME STREET. AND ONE HISTORIAN HAS SAID THAT ALL OF THOSE CHILDREN GREW UP TO BE TODAY’S ADULTS ARE CHILDREN OF THE GREAT SOCIETY AND I THINK THAT’S TRUE. THEY WERE ALL INFLUENCED. MILLIONS OF KIDS WERE INFLUENCED.>>YOU WERE THERE AT THE CREATION AND HAD IDEAS OF WHAT THIS WOULD BECOME. 50 YEARS LATER, WHAT IS IT ABOUT PUBLIC BROADCASTING DID NOT MEET WHAT YOU WERE HOPING?>>THE STRUCTURE WHICH HAD TO COME INTO BEING BECAUSE OF POLITICAL — THE STRUCTURE IS FLAWED. I WAS PRESENT WHEN WILBUR MILLS, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE HOUSE BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE ALL TAX LEGISLATION HAS TO COME ABOUT, CAME TO SEE — AT JOHNSON’S REQUEST, CAME DOWN TO THE WHITE HOUSE. LBJ MADE AN ELOQUENT CASE FOR SETTING ASIDE A TAX ON EVERY TELEVISION SET SOLD IN THE COUNTRY. THAT’S THE WAY BRITAIN WENT. BRITAIN TAD — BBC GETS OVER $6 BILLION IN REVENUE FROM A DEDICATED TAX. WE HAVE TO GO OUT AND RAISE $2 BILLION. SO THAT LIMITED PUBLIC BROADCASTING INDEPENDENCE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. ONCE YOU TAKE THE FUNDING FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS, YOU UNDERSTAND AFFECTED BY THE POLITICAL WISHES OF COOP. THERE WAS AN BUILT-IN ABSINCE OF INDEPENDENCE IN THE BEGINNING WHICH JOE OR I, THE PRESIDENT COULDN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT. MR. PRESIDENT, WE’RE NEVER GOING TO APPROPRIATE MONEY THAT WE DON’T CONTROL. JUST GET THAT IN YOUR MIND.>>IT’S IMPORTANT ALSO TO REMEMBER, YOU KNOW, THERE HAVE BEEN A COUPLE OF ATTEMPTIN IIS AFTER PUBLIC BROADCASTING. RICHARD NIXON AND NEWT GINGRICH AND NOW WE’RE SEEING ANOTHER ONE. IN EVERY CASE THE AMAZING THING HAS BEEN CONGRESS ULTIMATELY RESPONDED TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS, THANK GOD, WHO ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY THAT SAID NO, WE WANT IT. WE WANT IT.>>RED STATE, BLUE STATE, IT DOESN’T MATTER.>>DOESN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.>>ANY NOTES THAT HE MADE FOR HIS MEMOIR AFTER HE LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE, LBJ SAID HE WAS PROUD OF IT BUT WAS CONCERNED THAT IT WOULD ULTIMATELY BE TAKEN OVER BY ELITES. AND THE QUESTION WE HAVE TO FACE TODAY WHICH I THINK WE CAN ANSWER, THERE THERE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ELITES. I DID A SERIES ON SIXTH GRADE IDEAS, PLUMBERS OUT IN UTAH SAYING BY DAY WE’RE PLUMBERS BY NOT WE’RE PHILOSOPHERS. BUT THERE IS A DANGER THAT IT BECOMES TOO UPSCALE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BASICS TO KNOW ABOUT DEMOCRACY. AND I WORRY ABOUT OUR LACK OF INDEPENDENCE CHECKING OUR INSTINCTS TO DO STRONG, TOUGH, PUBLIC AFFAIRS ABOUT THE STATE AND FATE OF DEMOCRACY.>>SINCE I HAVE YOU HERE I HAVE TO ASK YOU, YOU’RE GOING TO BE HONORED ON NOVEMBER 1st BY THE FRIENDS AT 13th –>>ONLY BECAUSE I’VE LIVED SO LONG.>>THE 50th LUNCHEON GALA. THERE’S AN INTERESTING STORY I’VE HEARD. IN 1969 YOU WERE THE FIRST SPEAKER AT THEIR FIRST GALA. AND THAT MAY BE, I HEARD, CAUSED YOU TO THINK ABOUT GETTING INTO THE TV GAME.>>I HAD LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE TO COME TO NEW YORK TO BE A PUBLISHER OF NEWS DAY, THE LARGE LONG ISLAND SUBURBAN PAPER. EVERYONE KNEW I HAD BEEN AT THE WHITE HOUSE WORKING ON THE GREAT SOCIETY LOEJ LAS VEGAS WHICH THIS MAN COMPLETED SO MARVELOUSLY. SO WHEN THE FRIENDS OF CHANNEL 13, THE SUPPORT ORGANIZATION, THE VOLUNTEERS AND CITIZENS THAT BACK THIS STATION HAD THEIR FIRST ORGANIZED MEETING, THEY ASKED ME TO SPEAK. AND I MADE SUCH AN ELOQUENT CASE FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, I WENT HOME GUILTY THAT I WASN’T A PART OF IT. THERE WERE OTHER FACTORS. BUT I WAS A FRIEND OF CHANNEL 13 AND PART OF THE COMMUNITY AND FAMILY IN THE VERY BEGINNING.>>YOU’RE STILL A FRIEND OF EVERYBODY WHO WATCHES PUBLIC TELEVISION NOW. I GOT LIKE TEN OTHER QUESTIONS BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE’RE OUT OF TIME. THANKS FOR COMING OUT OUR SHOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH. THANKS FOR THE WORK YOU’VE DONE ALL OF YOUR LIVES.>>YOU’RE SEEING IT FROM A TO Z. ♪

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