Oklahoma Governor Vetoes PBS Funding, Cites 'Oversexualization of Our Children'

May 9th, 2023 1:00 PM

Due to PBS’s practice of exposing children to sexualized content and gender ideology indoctrination, Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is standing strong against national media attacks on his veto of funding for the state’s only PBS station.Last week, Stitt vetoed a bill that would’ve funded the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) through 2026, a move he explained and defended in a video interview with Fox News Digital published Monday.

“When you go through all of the programming that's happening and the indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children, it's just really problematic," Stitt says in the video. “It doesn't line up with Oklahoma values,” so the state’s taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for it, the governor added.

The governor’s office has cited examples of PBS content unfit for children and objectionable to parents:

  • A segment of “Let’s Learn” featured a drag queen named Lil Miss Hot Mess reading a children’s book called “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.” (available on Amazon.com, BTW)
  • A "PBS Newshour" segment touted parents’ support for various gender care treatments including puberty blockers,
  • A gay character featured in "Work It Out Wombats" which airs on OETA,
  • PBS Kids’ "Clifford the Big Red Dog" featuring LGBTQ characters,
  • Pride Month programming aired on OETA, including a special about a town of Christians and drag queens who "step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes," and
  • A same-sex wedding featured on PBS Kids’ "Odd Squad." 

"When you think about educating kids, let's teach them to read and their numbers and counting and letters and those kind of things," Gov. Stitt says in the video. Networks that don’t rely on taxpayer funding (ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) are free to pick up the shows, if they think they’ll be popular, the governor said.

While liberal legacy media, like MSNBC, are lashing out at the veto, characterizing Gov. Stitt’s effort to protect children as “anti-LGBTQ censorship,” it wouldn’t make Oklahoma the only state that doesn’t fund PBS.

Currently, 15 states do not fund public media, according to research by Current, a nonprofit news organization:

  1. Alaska (cut in 2020),
  2. Arizona,
  3. Colorado,
  4. Connecticut,
  5. Hawaii,
  6. Massachusetts,
  7. Michigan,
  8. Montana,
  9. New Hampshire (ended in 2012),
  10. North Carolina,
  11. Pennsylvania (ended in 2021),
  12. Rhode Island (ended in 2012),
  13. Texas,
  14. Virginia,
  15. Washington

“Unless two-thirds of the members of the House and Senate join together to override the governor’s veto, OETA will cease operating this year,” the Tulsa World reports. So much for the argument that taxpayer money is a tiny fraction of the public broadcasting budget.