Thursday, June 23, 2005

Corporation For Partisan Bashing

Yesterday I posted about the "scandal" swirling around the the Chairman of the Board of Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the folks who bring you PBS and NPR. Portia asked for some background on the CPB, and I'm happy to oblige.

The Dems are charging that the current CPB Chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlison, is Satan.
Well, not really. They're charging that he's a conservative Republican, which is worse. Such Senate luminaries as Frank "Chicken Leg" Lautenberg (D) New Joisy, Dick "Big Mouth" Durbin (Idiot) Illinois and Barbara "Crab Cakes" Mikulski (D) Maryland are claiming that Tomlinson is injecting "partisanship" into the CPB by doing such things as installing an ombudsman and hiring a Republican lobbyist.

Well, who is this guy trying undermine the solid liberal foundations of Public Broadcasting? According to his bio
He was a correspondent in Vietnam, and co-authored the book P.O.W., a history of American prisoners of war in Vietnam. In 1977 and 1978, he worked out of the Digest's Paris bureau covering events in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Right away he's in trouble with this crowd. Next, he was Editor-in-Chief of Reader's Digest (how dreadfully red state!), and director of Voice of America in the Reagan administration(!!!). Plainly, this guy is up to no good. But wait...what's this? He was appointed to the CPB Board by Bill Clinton??? What's up with that?

Well, it works like this: The President appoints persons to the 9 member Board, who are then confirmed by the Senate. Each Board member serves a six year term. Now here's the kicker: Under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, "no more than 5 members of the Board appointed by the President may be members of the same political party." 42 U.S.C. 396(c)(1). So even if a President serves two terms, he'll never have more than a one vote majority.

Importanly, the 1967 Act protects the Board members from partisan attack after they have been confirmed by the Senate :.
"Except as provided in the second sentence of subsection (c)(1) of this section, no political test or qualification shall be used in selecting, appointing, promoting, or taking other personnel actions with respect to officers, agents, and employees of the Corporation." 42 U.S.C. 396(e)1.

So, boys and girls, these are political appointees, who once appointed cannot be subjected to any "politcal test." Now what are these Senators doing if not applying a "political test" to Mr. Tomlinson? Are they then breaking the law????

More on this later

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