“Even as the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development pay contractors millions of dollars to help train journalists and promote a professional and independent Iraqi media, the Pentagon is paying millions more to the Lincoln Group for work that appears to violate fundamental principles of Western journalism.” According to today’s NYT and in keeping with the Dubya administration’s penchant for rigging the media, it appears the Pentagon has been paying for planted propaganda in Iraqi newspapers. “‘You show the world you’re not living by the principles you profess to believe in, and you lose all credibility.‘”
A day after a report by the Inspector General on his tenure (and his questionable use of agency money), Kenneth Tomlinson, he of the axe to grind with Bill Moyers, resigns as chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, an advocacy group, said: ‘It was time that Mr. Tomlinson stepped down. He has engaged in unethical, if not illegal, behavior.’” But don’t jump for joy just yet, Buster: Even with Tomlinson gone, conservatives still rule the roost at CPB.
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.