Public TV’s Bait-And-Switch

When American public TV hods pledge drives, it abandons regular programming and spews out entertainment or special-interest shows calculated to grab more viewers to watch and make a contribution. But “all this pledge-time stunt-programming is enough to make a longtime public-TV booster wonder if somebody has lost sight of its mission. It seems disingenuous, if not dishonest, like a bait and switch. Meanwhile, people who appreciate public-TV’s staple programming have the option of griping through stress tips or another Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute for a week or more or slip-sliding over to the History Channel and C-SPAN, from which they may never return. Apart from being aggravating, this strategy seems self-defeating in the long run.”