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In an era of hundreds of cable channels and nearly unlimited online offerings, PBS has somehow defied the odds and continued to exist. That may be about to change, however, as The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) cut funding to many established PBS shows and redirected some of that funding to games, mobile and Web-based offerings.

Neal Shapiro, the president and CEO of WNET, complained that if they can’t make up funding elsewhere, they won’t be able to “. . . help as many regional arts organizations and independent filmmakers share their work with the nation.”

Oh no, how will we manage? I sure hope someone steps up to fund these shows only watched by shut-ins and dogs chewing on their owners’ remote controls.

In case you thought the NEA might have decided to fund things people will actually enjoy, you can relax. Alt.Latino received a big grant to podcast alternative Latin music and NPR will continue to get money to produce programs that border on violating the anti-torture provisions of the Geneva Convention.

My favorite part of all of this is just how out of touch the NEA has become. In a bid to embrace gamers, one of the grants they awarded was to the University of Southern California which is developing a video game that uses the writings of Henry David Thoreau.

Man that sounds like a blast. When that “game” comes out, I may actually get it to torment my kids. When they’re bad, they will have to either play it as punishment or sit quietly in the corner. Something tells me they’ll pick the corner.

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