May 24, 2006

In 1969 the US Senate had a hearing on funding the newly developed Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The proposed endowment was $20 million, but President Nixon wanted it cut in half because of the spending going on in the Vietnam War. This is an video clip of the exchange between Mr. Rogers and Senator Pastore, head of the hearing. (youtube video)
  • Wow, that's really cool.
  • Mr. Rogers melted his heart! I wanna cry!
  • Taking money from war for education, with a soft voice and good information, gives me hope
  • What an odd feeling. I think that's the first time I've ever seen Congresspeople making a good decision. I didn't even like Mr. Rogers as a kid, and that choked me up.
  • As a kid, I think I was too cynical for Mr Rogers - I much preferred Mr Dress-ups somewhat manic world of costumes and crafts. I did like the Friendly Giant, which was a very simple sweet show, with one actor and a few puppets - but that had the magically tiny chairs and great stories. Maybe it was that I only saw Mr Rogers when I was slightly older (6, 7 years old) because it was the American channel, and I was looking for more wordplay and sharper humour like Sesame Street. But as an adult, I find myself being quite awed by Mr Rogers sheer dedication to children. I don't always agree with him (cartoons can be good for kids - Warner Bros is genius), but he was so dedicated it's papable.
  • Isn't amazing to see someone speak their passion so eloquently? I've been trying to find this very clip for quite some time now. Thank you for posting it.
  • It's such a good feeling... to know that Mister Rogers can still reach out to us.
  • It's like watching a real life version of the end of Miracle on 34th Street or something. Wow. That's pretty cool.
  • What a wonder. I wish I could leave such a legacy.
  • fred rogers is a rockstar. god bless him. cartoons may be funny or entertaining, but they are no substitute for having a "real" positive male role model... dropping science and spreading messages of love, positivity, and emotional literacy. especially for the many american children that grew up either without a dad, or with a dad that worked all day, mr rogers played an essential role in healthy childhood development. sesame street is great, too. although their (over)use of bluescreen and cgi/special effects nowadays is enough to make even george lucas cringe imho. the ralph nader ("The consumer advocate is a person in your neighborhood...") and rev jesse jackson ("i am somebody") guest appearances are two of my favorites.
  • Awesome clip... I watched it all the way through, then tried to find more information about the senator (actually hoping to find he was corrupt and that Mr. Rogers cracked a nut on this one). For some reason right now I'm thinking of the National Lampoon audio parodies from the 1970s of Mr Rogers... Fred: "I like to eat candies, fresh little candies, and things like that.. do you like to eat those things too?" Bass player: "Well, actually I eat a lot of garbage food, mostly, things like Egg McMuffin..." Wasn't that done by the Spinal Tap folks?
  • Am I the only one who has always been creeped out by Mr. Rogers? I still believe that someday someone will buy his old house and discover a couple of dozen bodies in buried in the basement.
  • He had a really weird way of talking. But he was right, & a great humanitarian, & probably did more good on a practical level than anyone else in his lifetime.
  • In the US, that is, excluding Dr Martin Luther King.
  • It's hard to believe that someone could be so decent and caring, have that much compassion. It's easy to make jokes on his behalf, or to suspect an ulterior motive. Chy is right--he's one of the few people to ever understand what kids need, and actually communicate with them on their level without pandering. In an interview, Rogers mentioned that the other audience for his show was the elderly. Just like kids, they need the reassurance that they are OK just the way they are.
  • "Won't you wear a sweater?" on March 20 to honor Mr. Rogers. It would have been his 80th birthday. Promotional Youtube video from David "Mr. McFeely" Newell here.