Four-Star Retired Army General: Protect PBS from Trump Budget Cuts

“We need public media that acts as our largest classroom.”

Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA

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Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has come to the defense of public media amid the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate all $445 million in annual funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS’s parent company.

In an op-ed for the New York Times Wednesday, the four-star retired army general specifically addressed the argument that by slashing funding for public broadcasting networks, the government can prioritize its military spending and make the country safer. He argued that such narratives are built around a “false choice” that ultimately hurt children and working parents.

“Public television works hard to engage young learners and build the skills needed for a jump-start on life,” McChrystal said. “We need our youngest to be curious, resilient, and empathetic, and prepared for the jobs of the future.”

“We don’t have to pick one over the other,” he added.

McChrystal also emphasized the role public broadcasting has in restoring American trust in government institutions.

Last month, Trump released his preliminary budget plan, which seeks to gut a slew of federal programs aimed at assisting low-income Americans, while significantly boosting the government’s military and defense spending. The proposal sparked widespread alarm and was called out for its likelihood in hurting the very same voters that helped Trump get elected to the White House.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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