Diane Ravitch in Harper’s Magazine

Diane Ravitch expresses more in two sentences than most people can state in two chapters.

Harper's - Diane Ravitch

In the October issue of Harper’s Magazine a cover story, “PBS Self-Destructs: and what it means to viewers like you” by Eugenia Williamson, describes the full history of the takeover of Public Broadcasting by the Koch Brothers, Bloomberg, the Gates Foundation and other billionaire owned and controlled corporations and their tax-free foundations.

Diane Ravitch was asked about the lack of even-handed news coverage regarding the so-called education reform movement, in particular PBS coverage of charter schools which are invested in by these same billionaires and their tax-free foundations. (Yes, these tax-free foundations all have hedge funds and investments that make enormous profits that stay within the foundations. The appointed or board elected officers and trustees are paid enormous amounts of money and other compensation.)

“‘We’ve had public schools since the 1820’s,’ Ravitch added, ‘and we’ve never had a moment in history where the U.S. Department of Education and the big philanthropists together wanted to replace our public education system with privately managed schools. It’s a whole new thing! And PBS doesn’t seem interested.'”

The article is an eye-opening historical overview and a brilliant presentation of the corporatization of America, especially its public news and information media, by a handful of billionaires.

Also, Diane Ravitch’s latest book, Reign of Error: the hoax of the privatization movement and the danger to America’s public schools, explains even more in well researched detail.

reign of error



About Ken Previti

This entry was posted in betrayal, corruption, fairness, greed, privatization, public education, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Diane Ravitch in Harper’s Magazine

  1. This is why I have not contributed to PBS for over 20 years. Once in a while there is a good documentary, but for the most part, what they broadcast represents the party line–the corporate party line.

  2. It’s stuck behind a pay wall, but we know the story; Gates, Waltons, Kochs and much of the oligarch coven have hijacked the people’s airwaves. IT’S TIME FOR A BAT SWARM OF PBS. CONTACT THEM AND WITHDRAW YOUR PLEDGE OR IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER THEN DO AS I DID AND PLEDGE $0.25 PER MONTH. They wrote me back that they wouldn’t be billing my credit card – it cost more in fees than $0.25. Maybe if they get this message from all 50,000 BATS, and others who value intelligent programs, they might re-evaluate their relationships with the oligarchy.

  3. even when I see David Koch’s name on a science video on NOVA I get sick to my stomach just seeing he name….. I have only donated to WAMC in Albany New York; I won’t donate in Boston where I Iive because they have this attitude and I have been complaining in emails for over a year. They write back with eamil like “it;s a competitive world and we have to bring in money”….. if that is there only purpose then let them disappear.

  4. Reblogged this on Crazy Normal – the Classroom Exposé and commented:
    Read all about it: The corporate take over of PBS, the media and the public schools by the extreme right.

  5. Jon Awbrey says:

    Well, Duh … PBS has been self-destructing since Y2K …

    • Ken Previti says:

      No, it began well before that. The Harper’s article gives all the details, and there is a link to it in the blog.
      The takeover of PBS has been a long-term project.

      • Jon Awbrey says:

        Fair enough … I guess that’s just when I personally first realized that CPB had finally crossed a fatal line … the character assassination of Gore that Frontline broadcast the night before the election …

      • Ken Previti says:

        On Florida’s Space Coast and the Orlando area, public television replaced Diane Ravitch’s programmed interview with Tavis Smiley as she spoke about privatizing charter schools for immense profits. A program about Golden Oldies and rock-and-roll singers fund raising for PBS was used in its place. Unannounced. An unannounced fund raising repeat at 11:00 pm in Florida!
        Things like this happened repeatedly prior to the last election. (September seems very early to start this abuse, but it happened.) The interview is available online which demonstrates that it took place and is not planned for a future date.

  6. Pingback: Sunday reads. | Fred Klonsky

  7. Jon Lubar says:

    PBS can be reclaimed if viewers and listeners step up to the plate and remove their need to accept the corporate money. It won’t be easy or fast but it can be done. Listeners have abdicated their past ownership of PBS and allowed the oligarchs and plutocrats to step into the void.

    • Ed Dziedzic says:

      They have to be willing to operate on less money and go back to what they were. Until that happens they will continue to take Koch/Gates money and not care about the “public” part of their mission.

      • Ken Previti says:

        The Harper’s Magazine article in this month’s issue is very long and detailed in spite of it being an overview. It is on news stands and in the library. PBS is no longer what it was and can never be that again. Some problems have no solutions. PBS is a corporate propaganda machine that uses the tax money allotted to it by the campaign contributions to certain legislators who control congressional purse strings for PBS and NPR. The only possibility for the same types of news coverage and programming we associate with public television is another public broadcasting bill passed and funded by tax dollars.
        In today’s America, that will not happen.
        Plutocrats don’t do things for the public welfare unless there is a non-threatening, strings-attached, new, PBS-Lite-type that gives us even more illusions of choice and fairness.

  8. redqueeninla says:

    I stopped watching when all I could actually view was the feckless Yanni broadcast and rebroadcast ad nauseum. There are other such repulsive vapid classless big-draws too.n Just hard to tolerate an organization that not only tolerates this drivel but maintains this is the essence of their base. Ick.

    OTOH they broadcast Bill Moyers and have for most of his career and then some. They are not an unadulterated sell-out. It’s the hidden nature of what they pimp that’s the real problem. And yet note how much poorer-off we all would be without them. Which in itself is a sad, sad statement…

    • Ken Previti says:

      If you get the issue of Harper’s Magazine mentioned in this blog, you will read about Moyers and how he has managed to have been dumped and yet continued to be broadcast on most public TV stations. His funding money runs out at the end of the TV year, and no one is willing to risk the wrath of the corporate power mongers by funding or getting funding for it. Moyers says that he and his show are doomed.

    • Ed Dziedzic says:

      Thank you! I thought I was the only one who was repulsed by Yanni and the other pledge drive garbage they play.

  9. Pingback: Harper’s: Why Doesn’t PBS Care About the Assault on Public Education? | Diane Ravitch's blog

  10. Jon Awbrey says:

    Checked today … not in my usual bookstore yet …

  11. Charlie Who says:

    PBS is now a for-profit company that still begs for your money via donations. They started a commercial company (PBS Distribution) that is technically separate even though it’s housed at their headquarters and they work arm in arm. It’s sole goal is money. It’s sad that they’ve gone down this road but things will only get worse, not better. Just don’t think they need your money, when they’ve found ways of making it on their own.

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