Over the last two weeks advocacy organizations have been rallying to the defense of PBS and funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. On Friday, advocates cheered as the proposed $100 million cutback was restored in Congress. An important battle won. On Sunday, Frank Rich pints out in his New York Times column the advocates may have won the battle but the war is still very much in play with much greater ramifications for the arts and public broadcasting than $100 million.

HERE'S the difference between this year's battle over public broadcasting and the one that blew up in Newt Gingrich's face a decade ago: this one isn't really about the survival of public broadcasting. So don't be distracted by any premature obituaries for Big Bird. Far from being an endangered species, he's the ornithological equivalent of a red herring…
…The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations – or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies – you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.

The Armstrong Williams NewsHour – New York Times