McChrystal: PBS as Vital as Military for US Safety
Retired Gen. McChrystal taps into his expertise to explain how PBS makes us safer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2017 9:36 AM CDT
Elmo: making America safe again.   (AP Photo/Victoria Will, File)

(Newser) – On the chopping block in President Trump's proposed budget are nearly 20 different agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds the Public Broadcasting Service. In an op-ed for the New York Times, retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal makes the point that the "hard power" of a strong military is necessary to keep our country safe, but so is funding public broadcasting—and we shouldn't have to make the "false choice" of picking one over the other. He concedes this may appear to be an "unlikely position" for someone who served in the armed forces for more than three decades, but he also draws upon that extensive experience to back up his PBS-promoting assertion.

In McChrystal's view, the men and women who do well in the military are those who are educated in the realm of "trusted institutions and civil discourse," and that education starts in early childhood. With PBS currently offering free, extensive, noncommercial outreach to kids across the nation, McChrystal says, they'll develop the social skills needed to succeed in jobs, in the military, and in life. He adds that with the public trust level seemingly at a perilous low, it's even more important to lean on institutions like PBS that continue to retain credibility. "Why then would we degrade or destroy an institution that binds us together?" McChrystal writes. His full piece here. (Norman Lear wants PBS to stop concentrating on "costume dramas" and get back to documentaries.)

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