The Meme Generation

  1. In a CNN poll of American adults released Friday, the median guess on what percentage of the federal budget goes to public broadcasting was 5%. With a $3.55 trillion budget last year, that would put funding for the CBP at approximately $178 billion.

    In reality though, that’s not even close.

    The CPB received about $420 million last year from the federal government, making it roughly one one-hundredth of one percent, of the overall budget. That means that the median response was about 424 times higher than the actual amount of federal funding that went to public broadcasting last year.

    Further, 20% of respondents thought CPB funding made up over 10% of the entire budget, including 5% who said it made up at least half.

    Poll: Americans Wrongly Estimate $178 Billion In Fed. Budget Goes To Public Broadcasting

    5% think CPB gets ONE HALF of the entire federal budget.

    Put differently, 5% think NPR and Elmo get more in one year than what we’ve spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since 2001.