16 August 2015

Today's Lesson from Sesame Street

Silly poor kids, educational TV is for rich kids:
For more than four decades, the television show Sesame Street has existed to teach children lessons. Today’s lesson is that people without disposable household income are in an inferior position and should be happy to receive secondhand goods.

The original purpose of Sesame Street was to provide uplifting educational programming to the widest possible audience of young children. Yesterday, the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces the program, announced that for the next five years, new episodes will not run on the nonprofit, over-the-air Public Broadcasting Service, but will be distributed through HBO, a premium cable channel owned by the for-profit Time Warner media megacorporation.

In the press release, Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey Dunn described the arrangement as “a true winning public-private partnership model.” What does this winning model entail? It entails removing public goods and services from the commons, to repackage them as luxury products for affluent consumers.


Now Sesame Street will be restricted to a network that reaches less than one-third of American households. According to the announcement, with the money it gets from HBO, Sesame Street “will be able to produce almost twice as much new content as previous seasons.” And poor kids won’t be able to see any of it. 


Or, more precisely, they will be able to see it after the expiration of a nine-month HBO window of exclusivity—at which point the no-longer-new episodes will be passed on to PBS, while the children whose parents can afford to pay for premium cable are watching new-new episodes. The old Sesame Street block has been gentrified, so that HBO can build a sleek high-rise with a separate poor door. 
We have become an ugly society.


Cthulhu said...

Once again, the poors get the rich folks hand me downs.

Billy said...

Wow, maybe I won't allow my child to watch SS anymore, how terrible. What has become of us?

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