In Made Possible By..., Village Voice columnist James Ledbetter considers the current state of public broadcasting and finds it decidedly lacking. During its early heyday, NET (National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS) regularly aired innovative and provocative public-affairs shows; soon, however, public-television managers began toning down controversial content in a desperate--and doomed--attempt to secure government funding. When even these efforts failed, public television increasingly turned to corporate sponsors to fill the gap, resulting in a movement away from adventurous programming in favor of politically inoffensive, "safe" shows such as Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theatre, even Ken Burns's The Civil War. Today, Ledbetter writes, corporate influence rules in public broadcasting, much as it does in commercial television. A savage indictment of corporate underwriting and bureaucratic inefficiency, Made Possible By... is also an eloquent defense of public television's possibilities; Ledbetter envisions public broadcasting as a truly democratic arena--and perhaps the only area of American public life not determined by market forces.