Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Library, Library, More Than A Book

In this morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, our friend Patrick McIlheran writes today's quick snit:
Ah, the feds can't possibly make TV stations shut off analog signals Feb. 17, as they've warned for years. They're temporarily out of coupons to subsidize converter boxes. So that 7% who, like me, aren't ready will be cut off...unless we go and buy the $50 converter ourselves. When did uninterrupted access to TV become a taxpayer responsibility? Go buy a poor person a box yourself, if you're worried about unfairness. Or, heaven forbid, we unconverted might try enjoying a book. For free, from a library.
This, of course, has been a favorite target for the other half of McSykes, as that Charlie has been harping on it for the past five days. Of course, if the government weren't subsidizing the converter boxes, these two would be complaining about the government forcing people to buy new TVs so that they can have more control of the airwaves or something.

But I think this is a rather ironic and hypocritical argument coming from someone who wants the taxpayers to subsidize his "right" to treat the public highways as the autobahn.

Furthermore, aren't libraries also completely paid for with our tax dollars?


  1. I'm glad you brought this up. Why did the government order all TV stations to go digital?

  2. Dan, the gov't moved TV stations to a digital spectrum so that they could re-auction off the spectrum of airways being abandoned for other uses, such as wireless communications. See here, for example.

  3. "Why did the government order all TV stations to go digital?"

    It's called progress. Besides, the switch will free up frequencies for public safety uses.

  4. The main point though is this stupid idea that libraries are FREE. When it comes time to get a book or better yet when "I" need to get a book then they're great (and free) when it comes time to pay for them...well then we simply cannot afford it. Hypocrisy!

  5. As usual those who fancy themselves as pro-business don't understand crap about it.

    Broadcast TV is already feeling the effect of dropping ad revenue. Loose a substantial part of that audience -- even if it is low income -- and broadcasters will get even less for their air time.

    Don't these guys ever think?