US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he will slash funding for PBS if elected, while the pubcaster itself is preparing a slate of docs about Hispanic heritage.
In an interview with Fortune Magazine earlier this week, presidential hopeful Romney laid out his five-point plan for the US economy, which included cuts to funding for PBS.
Romney, who threatened similar cuts for Amtrak, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, said: “Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”
PBS CEO Paula Kerger responded in a statement to the Washington Post, saying: “We understand that these are challenging times. However, public broadcasting has already sustained a 13% cut in its federal funds over the past two years. More severe cuts would be crippling.
“Federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have almost no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”
In the meantime, PBS is set to air a raft of documentaries to mark Hispanic Heritage Month, between September 15 and October 15.
Highlights include Voces on PBS, a series of docs about Latino life. This begins on Friday September 28 at 22.00 with Tales of Masked Men, looking at the world of Mexican wrestling.
El Velador (The Night Watchman) airs 24 hours before that. The film, from director Natalia Almada, is about a security guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords.