View Full Version : Great...the new US education secretary is a total homophobe

Jan 27th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Clearly I know what I'm getting into for the next four years.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's new education secretary denounced PBS on Tuesday for spending public money on a cartoon with lesbian characters, saying many parents would not want children exposed to such lifestyles.

The not-yet-aired episode of ``Postcards From Buster'' shows the title character, an animated bunny named Buster, on a trip to Vermont - a state known for recognizing same-sex civil unions. The episode features two lesbian couples, although the focus is on farm life and maple sugaring.

A PBS spokesman said late Tuesday that the nonprofit network has decided not to distribute the episode, called ``Sugartime!,'' to its 349 stations. She said the Education Department's objections were not a factor in that decision.

``Ultimately, our decision was based on the fact that we recognize this is a sensitive issue, and we wanted to make sure that parents had an opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own time,'' said Lea Sloan, vice president of media relations at PBS.

However, the Boston public television station that produces the show, WGBH, does plan to make the ``Sugartime!'' episode available to other stations. WGBH also plans to air the episode on March 23, Sloan said.

PBS gets money for the ``Postcards from Buster'' series through the federal Ready-To-Learn program, one aimed at helping young children learn through television.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the ``Sugartime!'' episode does not fulfill the intent Congress had in mind for programming. By law, she said, any funded shows must give top attention to ``research-based educational objectives, content and materials.''

``Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode,'' Spellings wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of PBS.

``Congress' and the Department's purpose in funding this programming certainly was not to introduce this kind of subject matter to children, particularly through the powerful and intimate medium of television.''

She asked PBS to consider refunding the money it spent on the episode.

With her letter, Spellings has made criticism of the publicly funded program's depiction of the gay lifestyle one of her first acts as secretary. She began on Monday, replacing Rod Paige as President Bush's education chief.

Spellings issued three requests to PBS.

She asked that her department's seal or any statement linking the department to the show be removed. She asked PBS to notify its member stations of the nature of show so they could review it before airing it. And she asked for the refund ``in the interest of avoiding embroiling the Ready-To-Learn program in a controversy that will only hurt'' it.

In closing, she warned: ``You can be assured that in the future the department will be more clear as to its expectations for any future programming that it funds.''

The department has awarded nearly $99 million to PBS through the program over the last five years in a contract that expires in September, said department spokesman Susan Aspey. That money went to the production of ``Postcards From Buster,'' and another animated children's show, and to promotion of those shows in local communities, she said.

The show about Buster also gets funding from other sources.

In the show, Buster carries a digital video camera and explores regions, activities and people of different backgrounds and religions.

On the episode in question, ``The fact that there is a family structure that is objectionable to the Department of Education is not at all the focus of the show, nor is it addressed in the show,'' said Sloan of PBS.

But she also said: ``The department's concerns align very closely with PBS' concerns, and for that reason, it was decided that PBS will not be providing the episode.'' Stations will receive a new episode, she said.

Jan 27th, 2005, 11:04 PM
This is the entire purpose of the Bush Administration. In being re-elected and controlling seats in Congress this is what we can expect more of. The Ring Wing Christian Tards are ready to roll right over and stand for anything Bush wants to do. Just look at the people he's nominated, all would be homophobes.

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:33 AM
Yes, did you expect anything less?

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:38 AM
Homophobia is this season's pashmina. Or it would seem.

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:49 AM
Yes, did you expect anything less?

Exacty :kiss:

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:54 AM
Allez! another step towards increasing the number of available gay bachelors in Canada :banana:

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:55 AM
Allez! another step towards increasing the number of available gay bachelors in Canada :banana:
If it wasn't so cold and boring, I'd be there already J. ;)

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:56 AM
It is cold, but it's not that boring. ;)
I guess I'll have to be convinced otherwise then. :p

Jan 28th, 2005, 04:59 AM
If it wasn't so cold and boring, I'd be there already J. ;)
I'm with you on that one...walking around town on a day like today wth -30 windchill is no fun, but then again, this upcoming influx of hotties should help keep me warm :tape:

Jan 28th, 2005, 05:14 AM
We have a gay couple on Degrassi friggin High in this country :o

Jan 28th, 2005, 05:19 AM
besides the point. Nobody except me watches home decorating/plastic surgery shows either and I've noticed a lot of 'participants' recently who come with their same sex 'husband' or 'wife' and the shows don't even pretend like they're just friends or 'partners' or crap. It's available for consumption :p

Jan 30th, 2005, 11:39 PM
Homophobes are popping out of the woodwork in every part of this administration! Come to New Zealand - our Govt just passed legislation allowing same sex couples the same rights as married couples! And it doesn't get cold in winter here! (Well not like when I was in Quebec City and Montreal!)

Jan 31st, 2005, 12:45 AM
The US is lead by a spastic religious fanatic! The middle part of our country should read "Jesusland" and the outside should join Canada.

Jan 31st, 2005, 03:38 AM
But no one watches Degrassi.
I do.