Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A major victory has been won in the culture wars this week. The flag of Western Civilization has been planted atop the headquarters of WETA FM, Washington's "new" classical music station. Of course, WETA was the "old" classical music station until it was taken over by activists who jettisoned the format for a 24 hour leftist propaganda broadcast. It continued for several years until a combination of public humiliation and low-key threats from Capitol Hill forced the station to make a very painful return to actual public radio functions.

The rejection of its role as a musical arts resource for the public - whose tax dollars fund the station - ironically, was the downfall of its new rebel radio format. Even when listeners fled, and took their financial contributions with them, the NPR shock troops at WETA stood fast and refused to acknowledge their shameful actions. Finally, the financial pressure was joined by the usually liberal Marc Fisher of the Washington Post, who wrote a number of columns on the station's outrageous shunning of its cultural and educational obligations.

Holed up in WETA's headquarters, the NPR forces covered their ears and continued to broadcast hour of hour of far-left journalism and newsmagazines that, well, just all sound the same. Then, admirable members of Congress weighed in, strongly hinting that if WETA would continue to operate as a private, for-profit station that duplicated other NPR outlets in town, then it would have to become a private station. And that meant no more public money. Oops! We made a mistake, WETA's honchos said this week, and radio listeners tuning in for another dose of Bush-bashing, the sky is falling, new-values ranting and raving crashed head on into the genius of J.S. Bach.

That's got to hurt. But I'm not feeling their pain. Even before the NPR format switch, WETA had dropped many programs from its schedule, and I had complained to the station about this in the mid-90s. Add the absence of classical music on radio to the slashing of music programs in our county middle schools, and you have two great examples of the ever-advancing assault on Western Civilization. With no opportunity to hear classical music, how will new generations enjoy and appreciate it? That's exactly the brilliant idea the anti-culture forces had. On this particular issue, they have suffered a serious setback, and WETA has gone from blue to red on the radio dial. You will now find classical music back on the air, and as before, the playlist has a depth and variety that far surpasses WGMS, which was always a "Top 40" kind of classical station. If you were a listener, this was a refreshing victory. Now, if they would just bring back those old programs...

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