WASHINGTON: After President Trump released his budget proposal revealing severe cuts to arts and public media, a campaign from the Creative Majority PAC began the fight to save funding.
The Wait Wait... Don't Cut Me! campaign -- named after the NPR game show "Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!" -- launched Friday with a microsite and video. It was created by Creative Majority PAC, Revolution Messaging, and Los Angeles-based PR agency TaskForce.
The video features a puppet calling the White House -- a parody of a Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign ad -- because she can’t remember how to count. It is supposed to serve as a reminder that many people grew up watching free educational TV on PBS.
"This is way more devastation than just the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS -- it is all of the arts and all the humanities," said Scott Goodstein, cofounder of Creative Majority PAC and CEO of Revolution Messaging. "We feel it's important that these programs are federally funded, so young kids, no matter their economic background or parents’ income levels, have the ability to learn how to count and how to dream."
The budget proposal released last week called to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and completely cut federal funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which runs PBS and NPR.
The first task is getting people to sign up on the website to receive either email or text alerts. Goodstein said they are building awareness of the campaign on social media and will start running online ads and TV spots in certain Congressional districts.
One district the campaign will target is House Speaker Paul Ryan’s in Wisconsin.
"Moms in Janesville, Wisconsin, the Speaker’s district, will be seeing the ads," Goodstein said. "We would like to see Speaker Ryan do the right thing."
Once people sign up, they will receive personalized alerts about how to take action in their local area, whether it’s calling their Congress representative or showing up at a local town hall meeting.
"We wanted something with a little more edge, a little more humor to reach as many humans as possible," Goodstein said. "A lot of [efforts to] save public arts and save public education are usually done in a very nonpartisan way. We felt under a hardcore Republican Congress with a Trump administration looking at major cuts to budgets, we need to do something that would get everyday Americans excited to get engaged with this battle."