Saturday, 1 May 2021

what do you do with the mad that you feel

On this day in 1969, just a year into his PBS children’s programme, Fred Rogers testified before the US Senate Subcommittee on Communication (previously) to advocate that public and educational television receive the full funding earmarked by the LBJ administration but halved by Nixon due to the demands on the ongoing Vietnam war. The legislative body was chaired by Rhode Island senator John Pastore, whom nearly lost his subsequent race for reelection to Catholic priest John McLaughlin whom in turn abandoned his political aspirations and retired from the Church and went on to host the panel show The McLaughlin Group—aired for decades on PBS affiliate stations—and whom was unfamiliar with Rogers’ work and grew a little impatient with Rogers’ communication style, yet admitted that his argument was compelling and inspired prompting the television show host to recite the above song. Pastore replied, “I think it’s wonderful—looks like you just earned the twenty-million,” the full funding.