Although Education Secretary Margaret Spellings faulted PBS for spending public money on an episode of the network’s “POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER” series where an animated rabbit travels to the Green Mountain State and meets two lesbian couples, the “LA TIMES” reports this morning that “54 of PBS’ 349 stations (representing the major urban markets and 55% of U.S. households) decided to air the episode anyway.” (Link requires subscription to the Times and registration.) At the same time, gay and lesbian activists across the country are mobilizing to hold screenings of “SUGARTIME,” the episode in question.
This proves my point that despite the Education Secretary’s pandering to social conservatives by singling out this one episode, there has been no censorship here. In our current media market with hundreds of networks (and network affiliates) and thousands of outlets, when the government stops funding something, more often than not, a private media source will step in.
When social conservatives fault something in the media for gay content, they only end up making gay people, who otherwise might not have heard of the program, aware of it. This also applies when religious leaders speculate about the sexuality of animated or costumed TV personalities.
Instead of censoring the “SUGARTIME” episode of “POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER,” by questioning federal funding of the episode, Ms. Spellings has helped promote it.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) plans to screen the episode at events nationwide. According the Times, one of HRC’s “goals is to move gay and lesbian issues from the political arena to the personal.” Sounds good to me. Just so long as they don’t do it with government money.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com