21 September 2005

Congress Investigating Politicization of PBS

Corporation for Public Broadcasting's (CPB) chairman, Kenneth Tomlinson, has been heavily criticized for politicizing the programming on public television.

Tomlinson, whose journalistic background includes manufacturing pro-U.S. propaganda for overseas markets under Reagan and being an editor at Reader's Digest, thinks PBS is full of liberal programming and thinks he must change it.

It was Tomlinson who gave Tucker Carlson and the Wall St. Journal programs on PBS even though both had programs on other networks. He is one of those who believes that information can never really be objective, so the only way it can be "balanced" is to present two opposing views.

If you want to know about the Katrina disaster response, are you better served by an analysis of the process, or by one person presenting the "pro-FEMA" talking points and another presenting the "anti-FEMA" talking points? The former is objective analysis; the latter is subjective opinion.

The Tomlinson doctrine does not recognize the former, and wants to make the latter the standard.

The politicization of CPB came to the attention of Congress and some members asked the Inspector General to investigate the matter and issue a report, which is expected by early November. Stay tuned.

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