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Reform PBS- Go to Jail

Asking for political balance now a days is against the law:

Report: Ex-Broadcasting Chairman Broke Law

WASHINGTON -- The former chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting broke federal law by interfering with PBS programming and appearing to use political tests in recruiting the corporation's new president, internal investigators said Tuesday.

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, a Republican, also sought to withhold funding from PBS unless the taxpayer-supported network brought in more conservative voices to balance its programming, said the report by CPB inspector general Kenneth A. Konz.

Tomlinson was chairman of the corporation until September and resigned as a board member earlier this month after Konz privately shared his findings with the board. The report was released Tuesday.

The corporation _ which funnels hundreds of millions of federal dollars to National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting Service and noncommercial radio and television stations _ was created by Congress in the late 1960s to shield public broadcasting from political influence.

Specifically, the report said Tomlinson violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and ethical standards by dealing directly with one of the creators of the conservative-leaning "Journal Editorial Report," hosted by the editor of The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

In internal e-mails, Tomlinson told CPB staff to threaten to withhold funds from PBS "if they didn't balance their programming," the report said.

This is a classic glass half full or glass half empty debate. Obviously (says this conservative) PBS is tilted so far to the left it is unseemly to be funded by taxpayer dollars... Liberals will see this as a Republican trying to make it a right wing network when it is perfectly balanced now. (But liberals believe all sorts of things that deny reality;)

So what are we to do with PBS? Leave it a sewer of left-wing propaganda? Put in a quota system? -The last guy got in trouble for that idea.- It's a catch 22. You can't politicize it but you can't do anything to keep it from becoming politicized because that is politicizing it.

The answer is simple. Dissolve it. Can it. Toss it. Sing it a few choruses of "Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey- Good Bye" and send it packing.

Simply put, America does not need state funded media.

Any cursory look at modern or past history will make the case against state run media. I don't even need to do it here.

The question PBS asked when threatened with defunding last time was, "If not PBS who?" That's an easy question if ever there was one. I have about 180 channels from which to choose and there is no type of programming that I can not find.

Sesame Street? Oh please. I have probably a dozen channels all aimed at kids. And unlike PBS, many of them don't show commercials. Most people don't realize -unless they have kids or were trapped in a 1 bedroom apartment with kids for a month during a hurricane- that PBS blasts commercials to children but other kids channels don't. Noggin shows kids shows all day and never blasts them with ads for Cheerios.

"This Old House?" Excuse me have you seen TLC, Discovery, DIY or any of the others I've forgotten?

If PBS were to vaporize next week, every viable show on the network would find a home in the existing collection of networks. We have more TV bandwidth than we have content. That's why we have so many "classic" channels and why the cable channels rerun their primetime programming overnight.

Let's just end the whole fiasco and go on. It would save us millions of dollars and end nonsense like in the story above.


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Comments (21)

Demographic studies indicat... (Below threshold)

Demographic studies indicate that the average PBS viewer is blue-state, upscale, way above the national average in income and education.

In other words, PBS is government-run media for rich people. The federal government should stop subsidizing it.

Hmmm.I've got digi... (Below threshold)


I've got digital cable and there are about 23 channels devoted to kids. Frankly I don't think kids really need *that* much entertainment. When I was a kid all I had was UHF-13 and, occasionally, some French language channel from Quebec.

Personally if PBS cannot be reformed into a politically neutral entity, then f**k-em. Cut the funding entirely.

I think you missed the poin... (Below threshold)

I think you missed the point; "Tomlinson violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967".

I have no problem with making PBS more balanced as long as you don't break the law. (Or does the law not apply when you are advancing the conservative agenda?)

Well said, Doug. "Rule of ... (Below threshold)

Well said, Doug. "Rule of Law! Rule of Law! (Except, you know, when we don't agree with the law. In that case, screw the law.)"

Doug & Earl,I gues... (Below threshold)

Doug & Earl,

I guess reading comprehension is not your strong point. No where in the post did Paul say that Tomlinson was innocent or that the law doesn't apply to him. He didn't even say that the law was bad, but just that Tomlinson was in a catch 22.

Now, go on outside and play. The adults are trying to have a serious discussion.

Up yonder in my former home... (Below threshold)

Up yonder in my former home of Fairbanks, the local lonnybin contingent is all up in arms because the local NPR/PBS lineup has been changed to be more balanced.

Apparently now that they no longer get their left-wing spoonfeeding 24/7, they're afraid they'll stop believing that Karl Rove planted the phony National Guard documents on Dan Rather's desk.

That's what happens when they let someone else do their thinking for them.

I must say that there are s... (Below threshold)

I must say that there are shows that won't make it over, shows that I'll miss dearly. That said, it is a great idea to push PBS over the cliff and let it go. I am tired of shows I like having little pirorettes and inconsistent content jammed in just to air a leftist talking point at my expense.

kbiel -- fair enough, Paul ... (Below threshold)

kbiel -- fair enough, Paul didn't say Tomlinson shouldn't be held accountable; I read into the post something that wasn't there.

But I'd say it's not a Catch 22 -- there are ways to change the political content without breaking the law.

Forget reforming PBS. Dump ... (Below threshold)

Forget reforming PBS. Dump it. It's a waste of my tax dollars.

First, doesn't it take a co... (Below threshold)
John E.:

First, doesn't it take a court trial, you know, proesecution and defense to conclude someone "broke the law"? If so, the reports are a little over the top. Tomlinson obviously disputes the charge http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=10311

Second, we have a right to expect fairness in political reporting by PBS/NPR. If the vast percentage of your news staff votes with/for one party, then how can anyone deny this bias is the cause of the effects that members of the other party perceive and object to.

The fair solution is to require representative Political Diversity at all levels of the Public Broadcasting news staff. That is a measurable objective benchmark. And Diversity is so PC!

Thank you Mr.Tomlinson for ... (Below threshold)

Thank you Mr.Tomlinson for trying, don't give up. I used to support public broadcasting, but stopped several years ago because of the extreme bias. I don't mind hearing the other side as long as I hear both sides. The public radio in oregon is the worst. The coverage of the last two presidential elections ... Rant. Rave. Rant. Rave. That said, I do love the 'oregon field guide'.

The correct question to ask... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

The correct question to ask is exasctly what sort of law is it that imposes sanctions on someone attempting to bring balance to PBS? Is the liberal coda so ingrained as to be enshrined as black letter law? Is the blatantly leftwing, taxpayer-funded bias of CPB and PBS so deeply imbedded, so sacrosanct, that any attempt to address the issue can now be regarded as a violation of the law? Clearly more than Tomlinson's effort needs to examined here. Exactly what noxious cretin is responsible for this anyway?

Bill Moyers smarmy pontifications would have been patently un-american even if he had not managed to become a millionaire many times over at taxpayers' expense in the process. Jim Henson's oh-so-cute-and-cuddly Muppets were bad enough when they were merely parroting each and every liberal cause with ditzy self-righteousness. But the taxpayer-funded marketing and product recognition made Henson and company filthy rich when it came to selling underwear, toothpaste, shampoo, lunchboxes, vitamins, etc., etc., ad nauseum. And anyone listening to NPR during the 1980s can't help but know that Daniel Ortega would clearly have been the 13th disciple if not for the intervention of nearly 2000 years and the inconvenient fact that liberals don't generally acknowledge such indelicate ideology as holiness. By comparison, Ronald Reagan's support of the Nicaraguan Contras and invasion of Grenada represented a betrayal in liberal eyes on a par with that of Nathan Hale... and that only because Hale had been dead for some 200 years.

The simple fact is that CPB/PBS/NPR has always been an un-official media organ of the left. To liberals it is perfectly acceptable that they do to our children, with our tax dollars, what Voice of America and Radio Free Europe once did to those rudely sequestered behid the Iron Curtain. That so many of them did so well by doing so much "good" only adds to the injustice.

With more digital channels on cable systems and satellite than anyone can reasonably keep track of, not to mention all manner of content streamed to our desktop computers, our laptops, and now our cell phones, it high time the government/taxpayer got out of the media content business entirely.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its leftist affiliates have no more claim on taxpayer dollars than does a urine-soaked crucifix in a jar that regards itself as artwork. Reform, Hell! Kill it.

I agree with Bat One and a ... (Below threshold)

I agree with Bat One and a few others here and that PBS should not be publicly funded.

While I sympathize with the... (Below threshold)
John E.:

While I sympathize with the Bat's characterization of NPR News I see a major problem with his solution. NPR and PBS do much more than news and whenever Congress tries to take away their funding, the public outcry backs them down. You know the chorus: They are slaughtering Big Bird. The defunding cliff is too difficult to scale.

Public radio is twice as ba... (Below threshold)

Public radio is twice as bad public TV. Public TV actually has a few shows that have a some balance. Was shocked last week when "Frontline" had an hour long show on abortion, which although it leaned left, the conservatives actually got to put their position forth without heavy editing and without a moderator with knitted eyebrows setting up questions.

Public radio on the other hand, is so screaming liberal it would drive a wild man crazy. If you can find one Republican in the news crew I was be shocked. As proof, over the summer, the NPR had a long defense of Daniel Schorr being "non-partison". Yea, and the Pope is a Methodist.

I have to agree with Jenny ... (Below threshold)

I have to agree with Jenny - Oregon PR is the most propaganda perverted radio I've ever heard. I usually like to listen to the local NPR affiliates where I've lived - and Ann Arbor was pretty bad - but this place makes the Wolverine Radio sound like rational discourse. I liked listening elsewhere, usually just to know what the "enemy" is up to, but sometimes shows were indeed excellent and provided content not avaialble elsewhere. I haven't heard anything like that in the past few years.

Can them.

NPR and PBS do much more... (Below threshold)

NPR and PBS do much more than news and whenever Congress tries to take away their funding, the public outcry backs them down. You know the chorus: They are slaughtering Big Bird.

To which the proper response is, Big Bird is a MONEYMAKER and does not require taxpayer subsidy.

Once upon a time, people pointed this out. What -- did they just give up?

Yea, I think they just gave... (Below threshold)
John E.:

Yea, I think they just gave up, because they kept losing that argument (in Congress). I totally agree in principle with you... defund/divest it. But that approach just isn't getting this important problem solved, so don't you think we need to try something else that has a better chance of at least improving the situation?

I plan to create a Forum at www.newsbusters.org to create a serious discussion to hatch a real solution that has a chance of being implemented.

Let's not forget the embarr... (Below threshold)

Let's not forget the embarrasing scandal a few years back over the fact that PBS/NPR supporters in Boston and New York began receiving fundraising solicitation letters from the DNC because the DNC and PBS "swapped" donor lists.

Liberal Bias? You tell me.

Any reader interested in jo... (Below threshold)
John E.:

Any reader interested in joining a discussion about what can be done to resolve this controvery about PBS/NPR, please join the forum at Truth in Journalism through Diversity.

bill moyers should try to f... (Below threshold)
jack navin:

bill moyers should try to find someting wrong with republicans, for once. i tire of the way he constantly exposes only their positives. one could get the impression he is biased.






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