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All public television must be completely isolated from annual appropriations. But I would go further and suggest that in this area of news and public affairs public television should be insulated even from dedicated tax revenues. Senate hearings on public broadcasting. The voice you just heard was that of former CBS president Fred Friendly. Now an advisor to the Ford Foundation. This is a special report produced by the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am UFH American University Radio in Washington DC. I many our public affairs director Bill Greenwood. The United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications is now considering legislation to provide federal financial aid for Educational Television and Radio. A four day series of hearings on the legislation was held in Washington D.C. earlier this month. A second four day series is now under way in the public interest. National Educational radio presents a five
part series of one hours special reports dealing with the major aspects of these Senate hearings. Program number one dealt with government witnesses. Yesterday's program featured members of the Carnegie Commission on educational television. Today we present representatives of the Ford Foundation speaking first to the Senate subcommittee was McGeorge Bundy who you will hear in a few moments voices of the Senate. Subcommittee members who you will hear in a moment are John Opana story the chairman Mike Munro Ney Vance Hart Gaye Philip K. RUSSELL Senator Russell Long Frank Moss Scott Senator James B Pearson and Robert Griffin. Now all the opening remarks and statement of position of the Ford Foundation in the field of educational broadcasting. We present the Honorable George Bundy in this opening statement. We want to make only four points. First we are in strong agreement with the message of President Johnson the February 28 president's message in our view States
the issues and charts the current best course with the clarity and skill on which we cannot improve it takes account of what we now know and do not now. What can be enacted now and what needs to careful study of what we need this year and what can reasonably wait on experience. S eleven sixty is a sensitive and skillful translation of that message into legislative action. Second we are in strong agreement with the eloquent and timely report of the Carnegie Commission and we are glad to be here on the same day and for the same purpose as Dr. Killian and his colleagues. We agree with the Carnegie Commission on every one of the fundamental propositions of its report. We find no inconsistency whatever between that report and the positions advanced by the Ford Foundation. There is a marginal difference of emphasis between us. On the relative importance of interconnection. But we agree that the difference is best left to the test of experience. Carnegie and Ford both
believe in local autonomy with stronger local programming. They both believe in strengthened and diversified national programming. They both believe in a public television corporation with adequate funds protected from politics. They both believe in the need for much greater effort and much more homework. On the problems and promise of instructional television. They both support the present bill. Third we are very glad that the president believes the road open for any one of the many possible ways of harnessing the satellite to the needs of television. The bill is particularly helpful in its expressed declaration that there is no bar to free or reduced rights for interconnection services. For. While we recognize that specific questions about the organization of domestic satellite service are not at the center of your concern today we do wish to reaffirm. Our own conviction that there is a special promise
and opportunity in the satellite. For Public Television for instructional television and for commercial television to. Argument has been developed in detail both before this committee and in three successive submissions to the Federal Communications Commission. That argument has two central elements. The first is that the power and economy of the satellite open the way to a wholly new level of diversity and quality in the distribution of programs. The second is that the satellite offers us a powerful solution to the most difficult single problem of public television. The need for a programme funds that are fully protected from pressure of any kind from any source. I might take a moment here Mr. Chairman to make clear a point which was in the discussion this morning and that is that in our view the funds made available in this fashion by the satellite should be turned over to a public
television corporation of the sort which is proposed in the current bill for allocation by them along the lines that are proposed in the present bill. We have always emphasized in this point again came up briefly this morning that satellite savings cannot pay more than a part of the bill for public television. We made this point with emphasis last August when we first appeared before your committee on this subject and we therefore strongly support the Carnegie Commission's basic conclusion that some form of dedicated tax will be needed for the larger share of the funds. But we believe that satellites can generate much more money than any other force except a tax. Money enough to guarantee the freedom which is essential to the whole undertaking. Because of the importance of this point and because of his unsurpassed experience as a broadcast professional. I've asked Mr friendly to focus on it in a
statement following my own if you're willing. Eight months ago Mr. Chairman you called us before this subcommittee to discuss these matters. We've all come a long way since then. Those who believe in the promise of American television. And you and your colleagues have earned high rank in that company. I have every reason to take new heart for the road ahead. We owe a great debt to the Carnegie Commission and a still greater debt to the president of the United States. The right next step is the careful review and the timely enactment of the public television Act of 1967. I want to thank you Mr.. Randi for a very affluent statement yesterday a reporter asked me. What I thought the chances were. Of this bill passing and I. Said at the time. Then I thought it would pass from. Having you here today
and the indictment given by the Ford Foundation. I know that what I said yesterday was right that was Senator John Pastorius commenting on remarks from McGeorge Bundy president of the Ford Foundation. Next to appear before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications was Fred Friendly a consultant to the Ford Foundation and former president of CBS News. Mr. Friendly is also a professor of journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York City and these were the parent remarks of Fred Friendly. We can find my prepared remarks and one point public and of course I'm going to spill all of the money that pays for a broad public program here is what I want to talk about where this money comes from is critical to the right to a report card of them without fear of political combat. All right. It is only because
I have such enthusiasm and face faith in what you are about to do that I sound this early warning warning is necessary because both the facts would make such a service to we were going to depend on it to achieve the high goal that the president of the United States and the author of this bill in the Carnegie important foundation of public television is going to need not because money alone ever guaranteed but broadcasting it because IT professionals in the performing arts and public affairs cannot succeed without the resources of their writers. I am now hopeful that those funds will be forthcoming but I am not so hungry for them that I am willing to say I don't care where the money comes from or how. So long as we get very specifically I have two concerns. First as the consensus of negatives wears away at all the various plans for financing one special group against the excise tax rate another against the satellite
plan another against a tax on station franchise and the decision making system will perhaps compromise and settle on general funds taken on the federal budget. Second even a dedicated federal process are insulated from annual appropriation which may not be independent enough for the sensitive area of new news and public affairs programming. Perhaps the annual federal funds will be necessary for end and cameras will take me out of where we are dealing with the syllabus. There were problem is not acute. And perhaps trust funds will be sufficiently insulated from the federal government to preserve the integrity of much of what public television will be interested in. But I am sure that we must avoid at all costs any situation in which budgets for news and public affairs programming would be appropriated or even approved by any branch of the federal government. Even the most distinguished and courageous board of trustees could not insulate such
programs from the budget and appropriation process. One thing we can be certain. Public Television will rock the boat. There will be there should be times when every man in politics including you. Will wish that it had never been created. But television public television should not have to stand the test the political popularity at any given point in time. Its most precious right will be the right to rock the boat. Let me cite the words of the Carnegie Commission to delineate the challenge of this kind of contemporary television as I see it. Public television the report said. Comics stand on knowledge and understanding of contemporary affairs. Its programming of news should grow to encompass both facts and meaning both information and interpretation. It should be historian in addition to being a daily journalist. Its program should call upon the intellectual resources of the nation to give perspective and
depth to interpretation of the news in addition to coverage of news day by day. This is an large canvas should show us the interplay of people and events in terms of time and place. History and consequences of. Programming in contemporary affairs should be sensitive to the long groundswell of civilization. As well as to its earthquakes. All public television must be completely isolated from annual appropriations. But I would go further and suggest that in this area of news and public affairs public television should be insulated even from dedicated tax revenues not because the officials who make such appropriations are malevolent or because the people who will be administering those funds are weak. They are not. But because both of these groups require independent of each other. The dedicated tax proposed by the Carnegie Commission is one possible answer for much of public television's programming. The Ford Foundation supports such an approach. But in this special
field of programming for contemporary affairs the phrase as conic we say a special value when a satellite proposal submitted by the Ford Foundation last August and refined in December and again in April. This proposal provides private funds. For public television. Private plans for public television. It homely removes all tax ones from the delicate funding of the most critical ingredient of the entire enterprise. The right to know. If it supplied no more than 20 million dollars. And it might supply more. It could assure a protected flow of private funds for news and public affairs on public television and above all work against political interference in news. To conclude. General appropriations for equipment. Cost fund for Cultural Affairs bought not one cent from these sources for news and public affairs. Last summer.
Mr. Bundy called the Satellite proposal. A people's dividend. It can also be a people safeguard and in perpetuity. With all the checks and balances that our system of separate powers demand. Thank you for an excellent statement Fred. But it's. Not in contradiction with anything you said it's one thing to dream and another thing to do. The very essence of the problem in the development of educational television of course has been the lack of money. And. I don't think I've ever met anyone who was against educational television. The only problem that confronts is how do you support it. And I think we'll have to wrastle with that for a long time. Now there's nine million dollars in comparison to the. Magnitude of the task before us.
It's a drop in the bucket. We all recognize that. But it's the seed money and it's the beginning. As I said this morning. It's the opportunity that we have now to put the show on the road. It's something that I think that we have the Congress will have to watch very very closely. And I think that even the Congress will have to be watched by the citizens on the other outside. That we don't do anything here that regiment's the mind of man in America. That leads to conformity regardless that we preserve the right of dissent as we enjoy in a democracy. All these things are very very important and I hope that in assuming this task. And doing what needs to be done. Will find the answer in the public interest. There's no question at all that when we talk about education we have to talk about the freedom of man's mind. We have to censure. Because And I think you can't you need to back. It will be
an exercise in futility and I want to thank you gentlemen for the fine statement you've made here today. I now recognize Mr. Scott. Friendly I agree with you that the measure of independent. Television is the measure of its. Freedom from the appropriating and by making profit. And. What you have said is. Already understood by you and I'm sure by the committee vote. To get it on the rack and I'd like to point out that. The budget making process fundamentally an executive. Be confronted. If it is to be influential and. Regard to the future the system will be confronted by the people who each year. Did I like what public television did.
That I had a budget. Like when I heard where they kind of mean. That they didn't have too much of a bureaucrat. Did they. Make fun of. Rap. They don't need as much money in other words. Perhaps I don't want to hear it. And the legislative side is appropriate in making. Providing. House and Senate committees on appropriations and the Congress. To judge how much money they get. By whether or not they think one of the other political party would favor. Some investigation. Record a bit later in the point of view of the particular representative. And I'm putting these obvious things rather obvious things on the record.
I don't believe you will have a free. And. Public system. Able to restrict the further functioning of the. Executive is able to be behind a right get well. Again and an irreverent. Search for. Information. Or even an irreverent information. I think. Thing that concerns me most about our approach is how to. Find enough safeguards. To keep the government. Coming up with the necessary grant to provide. Certain needed. Structural forces.
But keep that dirty hand of government off idea. We can find a way to do it I'm for it and. We are imperfect and. The consensus of the negative. Necking a phrase that worries me. But I fear that. We may have so many objective so many ways of financing it will end up with the easy way. And that is to throw the taxpayer money at it. By the appropriate profit and then go up and forget it. Until the first. Crisis arise. Then the victim of the crisis. Will be the perpetrator. Maybe I'm not being very helpful but I like. It and less free if we're. Not having. And I'm going to support whatever measures I think. That we can to support.
Because I want to. Electricity that could blow through the. Shock. But I don't want. To I shop. Turn around and turn off. Did you. Use your brains we must insulate the scratch. And I don't like that. I wish I hope there's a tape of what you said because it's a better statement than I made out but I will add a bit of lifting the minute you think of. Well I react but I do think. That in the news and public affairs of contemporary affairs. That the idea of insulating it is crucial and I do think that one way not to have those who are occasionally going to be shocked by this and. Be able to register that shock on an annual basis is by having that park which is in contemporary affairs get its funds from the dividend of the
satellite. And I think that is a way if it doesn't work and the whole thing is a boss. 5 or 10 years from now nothing goes on forever. But it would mean that if certain broadcasts were on or certain hearings were on of that set of forces that you discussed were used that. This thing would have been in funding. Directly from the satellite. Private funds are going to this. Public use and I think it would isolate that I think that your statement and mine. So almost the same thing. I think fundamentally. We have to be careful to do it too. In this committee and in the House committee. To protect this system and this legislation. From the IMF inevitable. Temptations which need to be ready to face but later. And
perhaps unconsciously. Find a way to exert reprisals. Or they didn't do exactly what it should do than what we were like. The first time they do not me. I will be full of ideas of reprisal will when it is attacked. What do you say. I said we'll play this tape back. But it had to be protected from the individual. That we you know helped create it up to set it up. That we can't let that come in and undermine the effect of the work. Of the nation I'd like to make as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee gentlemen. You may rest assured that that committee will not only inflate the scratch you will even scratch the insulation. Money that easily with.
Your rent. Just to make. A difficult situation possibly more than you seem to get some comfort in thinking between public and contemporary cultural programs. And suggesting additional information be provided to the public. I agree that the politician will react more acutely to. The public affairs. Program. But. I have a hunch also that the public. Is perhaps more. Libel to react very quickly. To. A. Controversial presentation of cultural or. You know the dispute among anthropologists who Smiter. And or apply. To play. Or
religion in a row. Now if that's true. It will be secondary but perhaps equally. Strong reaction on the part of the politician. Who can be objective about the anthropologists debate. Only until the public gets nervous about it and then then you're back in the same situation. I suppose ideally if you agree that there is a potential for. Broad public. Displeasure. And cultural presentation ideally then you would argue for. Satellite funding of everything. First let me say I agree with what you say and I wish all of it could be insulated because I do think that all are right. I have my competence in news and public affairs if anything I certainly want there to be cultural affairs in the place for the Performing Arts in a sense of laughter a sense of humor a sense of
history. And I think it is a problem with those and I think the first time a real controversy will play is there will be some scratches. But I think you have to start someplace and I think the primary fear because it will determine so much of what we are is in the contemporary affairs now I think of the satellite rates could be higher. If there could be another source I'm not embarrassed to say if the attacks were paid licenses I don't speak for anybody but myself on that and other funds were generated in perpetuity from other users of public like us. There might be enough money but I keep going back to the consensus of negatives there. And we do live in the art of the possible as one of your body said 25 years ago. And I don't think there is much value in trying to isolate everything from public funds when it's not likely to be that way. I think that the dedicated tax whether it's on television SATs or whether it's on licenses are there anything else
may provide almost enough money to do it with the less money that comes from public sources the better it's a public pact. General Revenues the better it would be that not one cent had to come from that. But. In the equipment area. I think it probably will be necessary. What my warning is that in this consensus of negative some kind of us area Well let's get a bill through somehow because we just got to do it. All the money comes from public revenues and I think that would be a disaster. If they're. Not your friend. Do you endorse the bear then as its president yes I do and do you invasion then to the future that this would be substantially modified. Well I think that the word seed money was used before I think the expression of. My fellow Rhode Islander years get the show on the road get the broadcast on the air. It start running. This is really just going to start the ball going.
It's going to take a great deal of endeavor to figure out just how to organize. But I would say there is nothing in that bill that anybody who really believes in public television. Wouldn't indorse and in fact rave about it. You can be for that bill like you can be for the Declaration of Independence going to Saturn. Or. Do you envision potential amount of private contributions and they contributions on the private. I would hope that no private source gave very much including anyone foundation. The way it is now. I would have to tell you that one of the most difficult parts of Mr. Bundy's job. Is that so much of this money comes from the Foundation for Public talent right now. Educational Television and I think that those were the remarks of Fred Friendly former president of CBS and now an advisor to the Ford Foundation. Mr. friendly remarks were followed by a new statement from McGeorge Bundy
Foundation president. That is Ford Foundation president remarks that indicate the Ford Foundation may withdraw much of its support for educational broadcasting. We'll return with those remarks following a 30 second pause for station identification. This is the national educational radio network.
Senate hearings on public broadcasting
Ford Foundation, part one
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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Episode Description
This program, the first of two parts, presents Fred Friendly, former president of CBS News, now advisor to the Ford Foundation.
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Senate Hearings on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, held during April 1967.
Public Affairs
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Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Friendly, Fred W.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.5-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:38
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Chicago: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Ford Foundation, part one,” 1967-04-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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APA: Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Ford Foundation, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from