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RANDALL BLOOMQUIST’S story (“Real Things Considered,” The District Line, 3/17) questioning the propriety of government funding for public broadcasting was mostly on-target—though it’s taken liberals a long time to get there. Conservatives have been calling for an end to such subsidies for a long time, not just because of the all-too-obvious leftist bias of much of the programming, but because the government simply has no business meddling in business.
However, Bloomquist’s gratuitous jabs at WAMU-FM were a little silly. WAMU should indeed forswear all government funds—and challenge its members (including me) to double their annual contributions in response. But WAMU’s programming is hardly esoteric. Bluegrass Country is the world’s only drive-time bluegrass show and one of the main reasons the station attracts its middling share of the local audience. But in addition to afternoon bluegrass, and in-depth news and intelligent talk programming, WAMU upholds its claim to broadcast “radio in the American tradition” with a Sunday-evening show featuring old radio dramas; Hot Jazz Saturday Night, featuring the classics of that genre; and Stained-Glass Bluegrass, one of the best things on radio.
Privatize WAMU? Absolutely. But Bloomquist’s condescending comments don’t do justice to a great radio station, which should be on the car-radio button of anyone whose tastes extend beyond the Insect Club and Planet Fred.
Manassas, Va., via the Internet