The GOP attempts to break PBS grow murkier, as Dems unearth a right-wing stooge secretly on CPB President’s Kenneth Tomlinson’s payroll, assigned to track “bias” on Bill Moyer’s NOW. Nebraska Senator Byron “Dorgan said that data concluded in one episode of ‘Now’ that Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, was a ‘liberal’ because he questioned the White House policy on Iraq and that a second ‘Now’ segment on financial waste at the Pentagon was ‘anti-Defense.’
“‘This could literally put us out of business,’ said Paul Stankavich, president and general manager of the Alaska Public Radio Network, an alliance of 26 stations in the state that create and share news programming.” Well, that’s the idea. The House GOP moves to kill off the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, getting rid of liberal Bill Moyers and that lesbian-loving rabbit in one fell swoop. “‘Americans overwhelmingly see public broadcasting as an unbiased information source,’ Rep. David Obey (Wis.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said in a statement. ‘Perhaps that’s what the GOP finds so offensive about it. Republican leaders are trying to bring every facet of the federal government under their control…Now they are trying to put their ideological stamp on public broadcasting.’“
Salon‘s Eric Boehlert explains how Kenneth Tomlinson, the Dubya crony trying to turn PBS into FOX News, is probably not the best judge of fairness or balance going — He and his hand-picked ombudsman both worked for Fulton Lewis Jr., the rabidly anti-FDR and pro-McCarthy Rush Limbaugh of his day.
“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.” Perturbed primarily by Bill Moyers’ Now, Dubya flunky and CPB chairman Kenneth Tomlinson cites objectivity and balance in his attempt to FOX-ify PBS.
Perhaps someone should explain to Tomlinson that many people don’t think of journalistic “objectivity” or “balance” as finding the exact median between the left and whatever loony garbage the far-right is spouting on a given issue, but in holding up political rhetoric of both parties to pesky little things called “facts.” (Hence, the reality-based community.)
Journalism then and now: As Slate writer and Nixon historian David Greenberg reports in from the opening of the Watergate papers, Salon‘s Eric Boehlert surveys the strange case of “Jeff Gannon”, a.k.a. James Guckert, fake newsman for Dubya.
The trifecta…The Dubya administration coughs up a third conservative commentator on the federal payroll — Michael McManus of Marriage Savers. How many more before we can call it an all-out flunky epidemic?
As Howard Kurtz outs another commentator on the administration payroll — this time, Maggie Gallagher and HHS — Dubya declares the gravy train for right-wingers has stopped. Aw, man, don’t y’all want to hear my price first? GitM sells out cheap. Did I mention lately how splendiferous I think the war in Iraq is going?
Monica who? On the eve of Dubya II, Salon‘s Peter Dizikes offers a short but comprehensive list of this administration’s scandals thus far. Thirty-four and counting…not that you’d know it from watching the evening news.
After pressure from Democratic commissioners and congressmen, Michael Powell’s FCC announces an investigation into Armstrong-gate. Well, what do you know? I guess they’re just killing time until someone makes the mistake of showing more scantily-clad (non-cheerleader) women at an NFL football game.
By way of a friend of mine, the Dubya education department gets busted subsidizing conservative commentator Armstrong Williams for good press on NCLB. I mean, really, wasn’t Fox News enough?