Julie with a B

Monday, May 02, 2005
Losing it . . .
It used to be that I could listen to PBS and get away from corporate financed radio stations. What's wrong with corporate financing? Well, it's pretty difficult to run a hard hitting story about something that involves one of the people who pay your bills. Really. They just don't like it. Several years ago as PBS slipped further out of public funding and into private funding, the San Francisco station, KQED, ran a series of editorials about the changes.

Now however, there is a new influence. While PBS has certainly never been devoid of political tension, people directly from the politcal machine of the Bush administration have been injected into the governing body of PBS:

From the NYTimes:
"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."

. . . "And while a search firm has been retained to find a successor for Kathleen A. Cox, the corporation's president and chief executive, whose contract was not renewed last month, Mr. Tomlinson has made clear to the board that his choice is Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee who is now an assistant secretary of state."

. . . "

Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive of PBS, who has sparred with Mr. Tomlinson privately but till now has not challenged him publicly, disputed the accusation of bias and was critical of some of his actions.

"I believe there has been no chilling effect, but I do think there have been instances of attempts to influence content from a political perspective that I do not consider appropriate," Ms. Mitchell, who plans to step down when her contract expires next year, said Friday."

We're not going to be getting "balance" we will be getting what the Bush administration thinks is "appropriate". No other administration has so loaded the deck as this one. Reagan didn't need to, so why is Bush so determined to feed us his agenda?


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