"I'm not a fan of Sesame Street. It’s a very arch Western style of television. The way the imagery is presented on the show is tantamount to advertising. It was originally created by advertising people, that's why it's edited in that rapid-fire, repetitive fashion. It’s an advertising technique that people really respond to."
[...]Today our problem is not making miracles--but managing miracles. We might well ponder a different question: What hath man wrought--and how will man use his inventions? The law that I will sign shortly offers one answer to that question. It announces to the world that our Nation wants more than just material wealth; our Nation wants more than a "chicken in every pot." We in America have an appetite for excellence, too.
While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man's spirit. That is the purpose of this act. It will give a wider and, I think, stronger voice to educational radio and television by providing new funds for broadcast facilities.
It will launch a major study of television's use in the Nation's classrooms and their potential use throughout the world. Finally--and most important--it builds a new institution: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The Corporation will assist stations and producers who aim for the best in broadcasting good music, in broadcasting exciting plays, and in broadcasting reports on the whole fascinating range of human activity. It will try to prove that what educates can also be exciting. It will get part of its support from our Government. But it will be carefully guarded from Government or from party control. It will be free, and it will be independent--and it will belong to all of our people. Television is still a young invention. But we have learned already that it has immense--even revolutionary--power to change, to change our lives.
I hope that those who lead the Corporation will direct that power toward the great and not the trivial purposes.
At its best, public television would help make our Nation a replica of the old Greek marketplace, where public affairs took place in view of all the citizens. But in weak or even in irresponsible hands, it could generate controversy without understanding; it could mislead as well as teach; it could appeal to passions rather than to reason. If public television is to fulfill our hopes, then the Corporation must be representative, it must be responsible--and it must be long on enlightened leadership. [...] So today we rededicate a part of the airwaves--which belong to all the people--and we dedicate them for the enlightenment of all the people. I believe the time has come to stake another claim in the name of all the people, stake a claim based upon the combined resources of communications. I believe the time has come to enlist the computer and the satellite, as well as television and radio, and to enlist them in the cause of education. [...]
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