Email Petition to Save NPR and PBS – Life Imitating Spam Imitating Life
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Oh, the sweet recursiveness of it all. A petition to “Save NPR and PBS” is making the rounds by email. And like the Craig Shergold’s Postcards and Mrs. Field’s Cookie Recipe emails, “Save NPR and PBS” emails have been around a long time. The first recorded sighting for the Save NPR and PBS petition email dates to at least July of 1997.

However, unlike current sightings of the other two, the newest version of the Save NPR and PBS email is..gulp…genuine!


What on earth would move someone to start up an email campaign which mimics one which is not only not legitimate, but which has acheived the status of urban legend?

Perhaps “move” is the key term here, as the new Save NPR and PBS email campaign is a project being spearheaded by MoveOn.org. MoveOn’s move followed a vote by a Senate committee to cut public funding for public broadcasting, threatening the financial well-being of NPR, PBS, and countless others, and, they say, portending the extinction of such beloved programming as Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow.

Says MoveOn’s site, “A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with “Sesame Street,” “Reading Rainbow,” and other commercial-free children’s shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.”

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Still, perhaps their choice of format, venue, and, above all, wording was not the wisest. Then again, perhaps it was. The similarity to the old email (some call it ‘spam’) was no accident – MoveOn freely admits that they wanted to take advantage of the “success” of the old email, although they liberally pepper the knock-off with footnotes to current articles about the proposed funding cuts to prove that this time it’s legitimate, and the email they encourage others to send includes in the subject line “This time it’s for real”.

Will, as they hope, this new Save NPR and PBS email garner them the support they want, rather than a place in the spam filter?

Well, as of the writing of this article, MoveOn.org claims to have far surpassed their orginal goal of 500,000 online signatures, and to be 96% of the way to their new goal of 1million.

 

Which means, clearly, that it’s time to dust off that Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe again.

You can view and, if you like, sign MoveOn.org’s [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead].

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