It met the same fate Romney would have for PBS: It was privatized. Founded in 1972 by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and NASA, The Learning Channel was created to provide educational viewing beamed from NASA satellites for free. Then came Reaganism in the 1980s, the network was privatized, renamed the Appalachian Community Service Network, and subsequently shortened to “TLC.” The network initially featured some programming on nature, history, science, and current events.
But the 90s, and rapidly expanding markets, changed that:
Low ratings and low profits. Smarts don’t sell… From then on we have a sad decline to the abomination of child and poverty exploitation of the TLC’s current hit freak show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”… I am not saying we should not be capitalists and should be against the for profit model – but we should wake up from the delusion that the private sector can do it better. In some cases, the private sector does it worse and is worse.