Skip to comments.Tired of the PBS (Kenneth Tomlinson is doing heroic work.)
Posted on 05/02/2005 10:22:53 PM PDT by nickcarraway
PBS is a government subsidy for obnoxious, deep-pocketed progressives and a jobs program for liberal journalists. But the New York Times' story targeting Kenneth Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, suggests that the left is losing its grip on PBS and getting pretty worried about it. The Times story -- titled "Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases" -- reads like a press release from the office of Bill Moyers.
In the first paragraph, the Times says that "some public broadcasting leaders" -- read entrenched liberals upset with Tomlinson for scrutinizing their long-unchallenged perks and propaganda powers -- object that "his actions pose a threat to editorial independence." Editorial independence -- how's that for a euphemism? The Times likes that grand phrase, especially as it sounds a lot better than taxpayer-financed liberal monopoly.
Anytime a liberal government monopoly is challenged the mainstream media depict the figure challenging it as "political" while the engineers of the monopoly are merely "independent." The Times story proceeds on this sham premise. For example, Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive of PBS, is treated by the Times as a disinterested critic of Tomlinson, saying very primly that "I think there have been instances of attempts to influence content from a political perspective that I do not consider appropriate."
As opposed to your leftist political perspective, Ms. Mitchell? Mitchell is a liberal environmentalist and Jane Fonda crony who cut her tendentious teeth as a documentarian for Ted Turner. But you would never know that from this Times story. The implication of Mitchell's remark is that Tomlinson is putting the kibosh on apolitical content. Turn on PBS and you will quickly see what the liberals who run it consider apolitical and editorially independent.
PBS's idea of editorially independent content is "Postcards from Buster," a cartoon Mitchell aired until controversy ensued earlier this year that depicted a third-grade rabbit named Buster visiting Vermont (evidently post-Howard Dean and his same-sex civil unions legislation) for the spring maple harvest, during which Buster learns a lesson or two about enlightened family composition by staying with a lesbian couple and their children. Or was Mitchell referring to that apolitical bastion of editorial neutrality, Bill Moyers, whose evenhanded news reporting on PBS includes saying that George Bush will "force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives"?
Influencing content from a political perspective, namely, leftism, is PBS's specialty. Yet the Times makes Tomlinson's utterly reasonable attempts to bring a little balance to this nonsense sound sinister, reporting, "Without the knowledge of his board, the chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, contracted last year with an outside consultant to keep track of the guests' political leanings on one program, 'Now With Bill Moyers.'" So? It is about time. You would need an outside consultant for that job as nobody on the board or inside the PBS building is up to the task of monitoring Moyers.
He has gotten rich off supping at the public trough, treating PBS as his personal fiefdom (in part because he filled his friend Lyndon B. Johnson's head with the bad idea for PBS) while violating the law mandating balance that set it up years ago. Tomlinson is simply doing what Moyers' enablers won't do. The outrage isn't that Moyers was under review but that he is still on the air, using taxpayers' money to insult them and their views.
That liberals view PBS as their personal playhouse is seen in the hysterical reaction of PBS staffers to Tomlinson's mild programming suggestions, which resulted in Tucker Carlson getting a show and "The Journal Editorial Report," hosted by Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal. Pat Mitchell who pushed these shows through for diplomatic reasons is so defensive about PBS's naked liberal bias she won't even acknowledge that these tentative steps toward balance represent a correction of PBS's prejudices. "You're assuming we're doing this to balance something," she rebuked a reporter a while back.
The Times's report is an attempt to scare Tomlinson off further reform. It reflects pouting at PBS and fear that its liberal monopoly may crack up. Tomlinson should keep going with his reforms and ask the public to join him. Most Americans don't realize how much destructive journalism and programming their tax dollars have financed. At a time of severe deficits no less, the American people are expected to pay for programming that corrupts their children, for documentaries that seek to understand this or that anti-American menace, domestic or external (PBS is always good for a retrospective on Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, the Black Panthers, 1960s rabble, etc.), and for a diet of Darwinism via nature documentaries. Even its most innocuous programming seems absurd at this point, given the glut of cable channels containing PBS-like content. Do the American people need to pay higher taxes for the privilege of watching Yanni or listening to Suze Orman harangue them about inept investment strategies?
Since the Republicans don't have the stomach to tackle PBS again, the American people need Kenneth Tomlinson to pry the liberals' fingers off it. The more effective he is in this task, the more distressed headlines from the aggrieved ruling class's newspaper of record will come.
George Neumayr Ping
Defund the operation and privatize it. Let it find its voice and prove its worth as a commercial proposition. Tax dollars have no business funding anything but an emergency broadcast system.
If the Discovery channel can make money on its own, why not PBS?
The New York Times article seemed pretty balanced to me. *shrug*.
PBS has great kids programs and very little commercial advertising. My little girl loves Dora the Explorer.
I can't comment on Bill Moyers' program as I don't watch it, but let's be careful about what we ask for. I for one appreciate having independent non-commercial quality kids programs.
In this day and age of cable/satellite TV & the internet, PBS is beyond irrelevant. Kill it.
As always, thanks for the ping. George is terrific.
That's odd. I thought the New York Times article dripped with liberal bias.
Anyways, welcome to Free Republic.
And you're entitled to this at taxpayer expense, why?
In order to get support from the left to defund it, we must first turn it conservative. Then they will have the choice of ConservativePBS, or NoPBS. Just don't give them the status quo.
Yes, it's just great that my tax dollars are seized, at the barrel of a gun, so your child can watch dora the explorer.
PBS is a sham and a fraud. It's wonderful how we have to subsidize it, yet they and the producers get to rake in mechandising revenues from shows like barney, teletubbies, sesamee street and every other thing they can squeeze out of it.
The poster you are replying to is a chronic troll. All of his or her other posts apologize for liberal views. Every one of them.
NON-commercial? Every time I surf through PBS, I am inundated with "funds provided by" ADVERTISEMENTS (usually longer than the ads on regular broadcast TV) or interruptions BEGGING for "your support".
I have sent money to a local PBS station, during a pledge drive to "support" a show I really enjoyed.
After the drive was over, the show was on ONCE, one episode ONLY, at 2:30 in the morning, in the following two MONTHS!
I was DEFRAUDED by PBS to the tune of $200, and all I got was a mousepad and t-shirt.
PBS can kiss my hairy patoot. I only wish that there was a way that taxpayers could direct their tax dollars, rather than a slush fund for Congress to slop its pigs with.
Liberals are whinning like the Sunnis in Iraq.
That's their MO. Run shows that people actually like to watch like "Red Dwarf", or "Dr. Who" during their pledge drives, then run their usual tripe the rest of the time. Or they'll run a concert and interrupt it three or four times to beg for donations. I remember a Carol King concert a few months back that they interrupted 4 times, for begging and pleading, and these weren't brief little commercial time outs. They dragged one out to nearly 10 minutes! Completely ruined the rythm of the concert, and I love Carol's music.
Not just PBS but broadcasting as a concept is based on the idea that the government should enable us to get the word. But the First Amendment says something different:Each aspect of freedom mentioned in the First Amendment reinforces all the others. The federal government is explicitly forbidden to conduct the religious discussion. But the fact that government noninterference in religion, politics, or any other public discussion is mandated in a single sentence rebuts the conceit that bright lines can separate religion, journalism, and politics. The public discussion ought not to be conducted by the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The law purports to assure fairness in PBS, and the "Fairness Doctrine" purported to assure fairness in all broadcasting. But he natural tendency of government is to censor dissent.
So naturally, government "fairness" censors dissent. Government attempts to enforce fairness in radio had the effect of enforcing as the Establishment the inherently arrogant, negative, and superficial perspective of "objective" journalism.
And it is not to be thought that what the Establishment labels "dissent" necessarily is such in fact; "establishment dissent" is a classic oxymoron. In America only those whom the Establishment labels "conservative" truly dissent from the Establishment.
How do you propose PBS do that? Should it become a cable channel where consumers have no choice but to pay for its existence if they want to have cable? That's the way cable tv works. Maybe Viacrud should pick up PBS. I've lost count of the number of channels Viacom forces cable companies to take via packaging. I would like to pick and choose which channels we receive. Even if it costs more.
Dora the Explorer is on NickJr.
It's too bad that this philosophy of government has such an awkward name.
Disestablishing the ruling elites is Job #1 for all who love liberty.
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