It's that time again. PBS affiliates throughout the country are gearing up for the latest quarterly Pledge Drive. Certainly, the network deserves our support. Despite the fact that corporate commercials run routinely on this "viewer-supported" network, it still remains the provider of the most consistently excellent programming in all of broadcast television. Unfortunately, some PBS affiliates exploit the Pledge Drive more aggressively than others. The leading Los Angeles-area affiliate, KCET-Channel 28, is one of them. What is most annoying about how KCET handles the Pledge Drive is that it never really goes away. Despite taking full advantage of the sixteen weeks (four months!) maximum allocation per year, the station continues with its own "pledge drives" outside those timeframes. Even this would be more tolerable if not for the vapid, intelligence-insulting "special" programming KCET favors during these Drives: Your Money with Suze Orman is repeated ad nauseum each time, all two hours of it. Then there are the endless opportunities to learn more about painting stupid pictures of floral arrangements, courtesy of Donna Dewberry, finger-painter. And I forget the guru's name, but KCET always repeats the same mind-numbing two-hour presentations by a smooth-talking, New Age "self-realization" specialist—nothing but feel-good platitudes for 120 minutes. Some of the entertainment specials are passable, but how many times must KCET repeat The Three Tenors and those two-hour performances by doo-wop singers? And did I mention Yanni? At the very least, if such essential, regular prime-time PBS programming as Frontline, NOVA, and NOW with Bill Moyers must be interrupted for four weeks a stretch, why not broadcast vintage editions of these same programs during the Pledge Drives? They are, after all, the reason we turn to PBS in the first place. Additionally, KCET, whether it's Pledge Drive time or not, runs a series of slickly produced ads throughout the year, all of them begging for money (in one of them, an actor pretending to be auditioning for some sort of stage part screams, "They're not beg-athons!" as he begs you to send money). Again, PBS deserves our support. As a news venue, it is an indespensible alternative to the mindless, soundbite-driven corporate newscasts offered by the commercial broadcast networks. But these Pledge Drives are becoming increasingly shrill, longer, and off-putting. Surely there is a better way to do this.