Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Something is rotten in ... PBS ?!?

Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases
(site above from NY Times - link to non-register version here)

Without the knowledge of his board, the chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, contracted last year with an outside consultant to keep track of the guests' political leanings on one program, "Now With Bill Moyers."
In late March, on the recommendation of administration officials, Mr. Tomlinson hired the director of the White House Office of Global Communications as a senior staff member, corporation officials said. While she was still on the White House staff, she helped draft guidelines governing the work of two ombudsmen whom the corporation recently appointed to review the content of public radio and television broadcasts.

Last November, members of the Association of Public Television Stations met in Baltimore along with officials from the corporation and PBS. Mr. Tomlinson told them they should make sure their programming better reflected the Republican mandate.

This type of exercise from the Bush administration should not come as a huge surprise - this is the same White House that was paying political pundits to write and speak promoting various pieces of legislation. But infringing upon the long-established independence of PBS is still quite a low blow. There seem to be no depths beyond which Bush and the radical right are willing to dive.

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