Gov. Stitt’s budget cut to Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the state’s network of PBS affiliates, means the public-supported TV network will end July 1 unless the Republican backpedals under pressure.
For now, it appears he doesn’t plan to change his mind. “I don’t think Oklahomans want to use their tax dollars to indoctrinate kids,” he told reporters at a press conference. “And some of the stuff that they’re showing, it just overly sexualizes our kids."
Still did not give examples of that accusation but there are plenty, beginning sadly with the long-running show “Sesame Street." The beloved home of Oscar and Elmo has also sprinkled its programs about learning the ABC's with blatant approval of homosexuality. In an episode (pictured at right) that aired in 2021, a Sesame Street character introduces her “brother and his husband.”
In fact, two homosexual-themed episodes from “Sesame Street” earned the show accolades last year at the first annual Children and Family Emmy Awards. At the awards ceremony, one in four programs that were recognized had blended homosexual themes or transgender themes in their children’s programming, Fox News reported.
That winning streak at an awards show for children's programming suggests TV producers know what themes and subject matter will reap awards and recognition in the industry, and now those LGBT-themed shows are showing up in children's shows, including on PBS.
Back in 2020, an episode of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” featured a lesbian couple.
A year earlier, an episode of “Arthur” depicted character Mr. Ratburn, Arthur's school teacher, getting “married” to another man (pictured at left) in the show’s 22nd season premiere.
In the same press conference, the Governor also called the state government’s partnership with OETA an “outdated” system of TV coverage that dates back to 1957.
Numerous news reports failed to state how much OETA receives annually from the state’s taxpayers. A public policy group named Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, in its own analysis of Gov. Stitt’s decision, reported the figure is $2.8 million in the 2022-2023 budget.
The group’s analysis also pointed out 15 U.S. states do not fund public broadcasting, including blue states Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
Gov. Stitt, a father of six, is serving his second term as Oklahoma governor.