The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
– Chicken Little
I honestly don’t know how many more times I have to write this story.
First Trump proposes an interim budget, lasting through September, that defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Then, Congress passes an interim budget that restores funding to the CPB. Now, Trump proposes his first full fiscal year budget and the CPB is defunded again, and so a new story about the risk to WORT needs to be written again and consequently, we run the risk of sounding like Chicken Little. So perhaps some perspective is in order.
Funding for the CPB, the source of 14% of WORT’s budget, has been under assault since Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. Trump, of course, makes Gingrich look like a political moderate and Trump is launching a much more convincing attack against the CPB, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and every other federally-funded arts program. Perhaps Trump will be successful. Perhaps not. Perhaps the cooler heads in Congress will maintain funding. Or, perhaps they’ll bodyslam CPB to the floor.
So, here’s the point: WORT needs your support and needs it now. Its complex and well-used broadcasting and internet infrastructure cannot be maintained without funds to bolster all the volunteer labor keeping things running around here. If you are reading this, then you are benefiting from WORT. If you already support WORT, thank you. If not, the time is now.
The “sky” may or may not be falling, but the clouds are rolling in and when the rains come, everyone’s going to get wet because we don’t have an “umbrella” (safety net, parent corporation, foundation or university) to keep us covered. Listener-powered radio means exactly that, and it’s up to all of us in the audience to help pay the bills.