Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What Liberal Bias?

Another chapter in Public Broadcasting history. NPR reports self-consciously on the inspector general report today that Tomlinson used "political tests" in hiring decisions. One particular case stated in the article:
Tomlinson's role in creating a new public affairs show, The Journal Editorial Report, violated the director's code of ethics, according to the review. Tomlinson "violated his fiduciary responsibilities and statutory prohibitions against Board member involvement in programming decisions" in his handling of the show, according to Konz's report.
The most subtle way of skewing a story while maintaining the appearance of fairness is, of course, omission of opposing points of view.

Today's print version of ther Wall Street Journal adds (bold not in original):
[Amy Wolfcale, vice president of corporate communications for Dow Jones & Co. (publisher of the Wall Street Journal)] said "Mr Tomlinson did encourage Paul Gigot to work with PBS to produce "The Journal Editorial Report." Had we been asked, we would've told the inspector general that Mr. Tomlinson had no control or influence over the content of the program beyond urging the Journal to pursue a program on PBS."

The inspector general did even see fit to inquire into the arrangement or lack thereof? I'm no lawyer, maybe that's why I don't get it. It seems like the people pointing fingers are a lot less concerned with other people's points of view than Tomlinson.

The good news is that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is happy with Tomlinson's hand-picked successor, former RNC co-chair Patricia Harrison. Hopefully she doesn't get fired for trying to promote a variety of points of view as well. Additionally, WSJ says the CPB board will establish a new set of guidelines to provide more accountability. I'm assuming that with her in charge, it will not result in affirmative-action-esque policies, but I suppose that remains to be seen.

Boy, it's a good thing no one watches PBS anymore!

EDIT: OpinionJournal discusses the crucifixtion of Tomlinson. (may require free login).



Blogger Rebekah bloody well said...

It's really ironic how PBS can be the bastion of liberalism for so many years, but when someone tries to equalize it, he's accused of - yup - bias.

Double standards are maddening.

16 November, 2005 18:02  

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