Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nominally Partisan Radio

The story starts out curiously enough:

Sixteen Democratic senators called on President Bush to remove Kenneth Y. Tomlinson as head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting because of their concerns that he is injecting partisan politics into public radio and television.

Hmmmm....injecting partisan politics. Well, PBS and NPR do sound a lot like a more intelligent version of "Air America," but why would the Dems get upset over that?
"We urge you to immediately replace Mr. Tomlinson with an executive who takes his or her responsibility to the public television system seriously, not one who so seriously undermines the credibility and mission of public television," wrote the senators.

They included Charles E. Schumer of New York, Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, Jon Corzine and Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, Bill Nelson of Florida, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California.

Uh oh. Schumer, Kennedy, Boxer & Feinstien...plaintiffs' lawyers. I don't like where this is going.
The other Democratic senators who signed the letter were Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware; Maria Cantwell of Washington; Richard J. Durbin of Illinois; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont; Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland; Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Holy Bill Moyers! Its a whole passle of non-partisan party poopers palavering pugnaciously over public programming! This has got to be serious! What's happening here? Has Bush replaced "Fresh Air" with "The Hour of Power?" Has the pResident demanded that broadcast of the "Teletubbies" be limited to San Fransisco? Will Seseme Street be shunted aside for *gasp* "Davey and Goliath???" What horrors has Bush wrought?????

The Democrats' letter follows a series of disclosures about Mr. Tomlinson that are now under investigation by the corporation's inspector general, including his decision to hire a researcher to monitor the political leanings of guests on the public policy program "Now," the use of a White House official to set up an ombudsman's office to scrutinize public radio and television programs for political balance, and payments approved by Mr. Tomlinson to two Republican lobbyists last year.

Wha? That's it???? The guy hired an researcher to monitor how many times "Haliburton" and "Guantanamo" are mention in NPR reports on gay Boy Scouts? The White House set up and ombudsman to check for balance in reporting paid for by taxpayers, many of whom subscribe to different viewpoints than those consistantly aired by PBS? That's the freakin' scandal that has all these Senators marching in lock-step with Elmo?

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
And Ted? Your fly is open.


KJ said...

What a complete and utter non-controversy.

It is essentially claiming that PBS is a liberal bastion, and any effort at balance is partisanship.

spd rdr said...

Pretty much it, KJ. I don't understand why the Dems didn't get their panties in a wad when the New York Times appointed an ombudsman. Oh that's right, BECAUSE THE NYT DOESN'T TAKE TAXPAYER MONEY, so the Dems can't buy influence over there.

portia said...

palavering pugnaciously :) Love it.

Well, you got my attention. Holy Elmo, do these elected officials have a wee bit too much time on their hands, or what? I think it's safe to assume from that photo op that Rep. Markey will not be running for election any time soon.

That said, riddle me this, spd: How does NPR work? Why are these seasoned Senators--and Rep. Markey who feels it necessary to walk abreast with Clifford the Dog towards our Nation's Capitol --barking at the President's/Miss Beardsley's dog bowl? What am I missing here? I'm from the land of Hillary/Chuck/Charlie but even I don't get this.

spd rdr said...

A good question, Portia. I will try to fill in some blanks tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Heh. I am finally glad they concerned about content. I think it is time to
call my Congress Critter.