Moore on MaumelleWeek of Oct. 15Pryor Leads the Pack of Articulate Big Bird AdvocatesI had the pleasure of hearing one of my favorite politicians speak recently, SenatorDavid Pryor. My first encounter with the Senator was about 45 plus years ago atFordyce Jr. High School. Then-Congressman Pryor had come to speak to our schooland I remember to this day being taken by his charm and ability to relate to folks,even junior high students.What has happened? I don’t think I would get too jazzed up about hearing Sen. JohnBoozman and I’ve heard Sen. Mark Pryor and he is certainly not as engaging as hisdad. I’m not even sure I could name all four of our U.S. Representatives. And I’mpretty certain I don’t want to hear any of them speak.I also feel the same way about Sen. Dale Bumpers. I could listen to him or Pryor talkall day. They eloquently weave stories politic like no one I’ve ever heard. They aretrue Arkansas treasures. Bill Clinton ain’t bad.Not only do they have a style that is pleasant to the ear but they also seem to havemore substance than I’m hearing from today’s politicians. Of course at his point intheir careers, they are also not worried about being reelected. The speech I heard was focused on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, of whichis he is a member of the national board. As you may know, the CPB is always at thecenter of budget cut possibilities even though it is a minuscule part of the overallbudget.According to Allen Weatherly, executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network, “Cutting funding for public broadcasting (which mostly does notgo to PBS or NPR but to 1,400 local educational TV and public radio stations) meanscutting .00014 % of [all federal] spending. It is insignificant to the federal budget butdevastating to rural stations and services. “ Bottom line: it amounts to pennies a dayper taxpayer.Senator Pryor echoes Mr. Weatherly’s sentiment even more passionately and is veryworried that the cut of CPB funding will be penny-wise and pound-foolish, literallyputting rural educational TV stations and local NPR affiliates off the air. What manydon’t understand is that, while AETN and even KUAR and other public broadcastingoutlets are fairly successful in their local fundraising, many rural outlets don’t havethe viewer/listener support base to pay the bills. Then you have Mitt Romney make his one big gaffe of the night by referring to PBS asBig Bird and Jim Lehrer and that he “liked them.” But he would cut their budget.Penny-wise and pound-foolish.