You may not have seen the show “Diary of a Single Mom” co-starring Billy Dee Williams, but your tax dollars helped pay for it. Through the federal economic stimulus program, a company owned by actor-director Robert Townsend was paid more than $230,000 to produce and direct the Web-based show, records show. Other production costs on the show paid to different vendors total more than $700,000.
The money came through an award by the Department of Commerce to One Economy Corp. for more than $28 million last year to help boost broadband Internet service in underserved areas across the country. One Economy is using more than $1.5 million of that money to create programming such as “Diary of a Single Mom,” which the group says will help provide an incentive for people to connect to the Internet.
But taxpayer watchdogs say the government doesn’t belong in show business.
Even if the show is well-liked and delivers a good message, she said, the question is whether it could have happened without stimulus money. “Certainly, Robert Townsend is successful,” Ms. Alexander said. “Not that successful people shouldn’t be working; they should be. But they have access to capital.” Mr. Saunier said a portion of the grant, which he estimated at between $1.5 million and $2 million, helps produce the sort of programming not available in mainstream media. He said a Pew Research Center study showed that many people who don’t use the Internet also don’t find online content relevant to their lives.
“It’s about maximizing the incentives to go online,” he said.
Yes, we need to raise taxes, it would be a shame of I didn’t get to watch my soaps.