Pandering to the camera

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Don’t limit leadership to those with good looks and slick speech

By Merilee Dannemann

More than a generation ago, inventive people with an entrepreneurial spirit, guts, and creativity developed a new kind of medium called listener-sponsored radio.
It was supported initially by donations from listeners, who liked the eclectic programming. It was a labor of love and nobody got paid much.
Eventually someone figured out that this was a public service and government could help fund it.
Over time, it was transformed to the highly professional operation of today, with — surprise — executive salaries.
And it recently became the perfect vehicle for members of congress to pander to their respective conservative or liberal constituencies by wasting unconscionable amounts of time debating whether to continue funding public radio instead of dealing with the real issues of the fiscal cliff they are driving us over.
Watching a few minutes of this disgraceful debate on C-Span recently, I wanted to throw a pie at my own television set.
I have my own thoughts about how this issue should be decided, but even thinking about it is a trap — because it distracts my attention.

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