Sunday, May 01, 2005

Republicans censor PBS

The NY Times on Kenneth Tomlinson:

The Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is aggressively pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias, prompting some public broadcasting leaders - including the chief executive of PBS - to object that his actions pose a threat to editorial independence.

So, what part of what Bill Moyers' said isn't true?
...conservatives...complain that "Now" under Mr. Moyers was consistently critical of Republicans and the Bush administration. Days after the Republicans gained control of the Senate in the 2002 elections, Mr. Moyers - an aide in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration and a former newspaper publisher who has been associated with PBS since the 1970's - said the entire federal government was "united behind a right-wing agenda" that included "the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives."

Republicans respond with blackmail:
Recently, PBS refused for months to sign its latest contract with the corporation governing federal financing of national programming, holding up the release of $26.5 million. For the first time, the corporation argued that PBS's agreeing to abide by its own journalistic standards was not sufficient, but that it must adhere to the "objectivity and balance" language in the charter. In a January letter to the leaders of the three biggest producing stations, in New York, Boston and Washington, the deputy general counsel of PBS warned that this could give the corporation editorial control, infringing on its First Amendment rights and possibly leading to a demand for balance in each and every show.

"Objectivity and balance" means shows with strident, self-proclaimed conservatives:
Mr. Tomlinson did help get one program, "The Journal Editorial Report," on the air...

Public television executives noted that Mr. Gigot's show by design features the members of the conservative editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, while Mr. Moyers's guests included many conservatives, like Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition; Richard Viguerie, a conservative political strategist; and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

I'm sure Josef Goebbels had a great sense of humor too when he wasn't using Nazi media to persecute and murder Jews:
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.

Mr. Tomlinson said that his comment was in jest and that he couldn't imagine how remarks at "a fun occasion" were taken the wrong way. Others, though, were not amused.

By the way, the Bush administration and the Republicans running the Corporation for Public Broadcasting must have taken some cues from Goebbels who mastered the technique of repeating a lie until it is taken to be the truth, a technique known as "argumentum ad nauseum," or the Big Lie.

Previous posts dealing with the Republican assault on PBS:

PBS under attack

Who is this guy?


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