May 12, 2005

Democrats Claim Political Balance on PBS is ILLEGAL?

According to Rep. David Obey, D-Wisconsin, and Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Michigan, attempting to have political balance on PBS should be illegal. Obey and Dingell are accusing Center for Public Broadcasting Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson of "pushing a Republican agenda."

Tomlinson has taken the "disturbing" and "extremely troubling" steps of trying to add balance to PBS programming, such as when he added Journal Editorial Report to counterbalance Now With Bill Moyers, a show with a notoriously biased liberal bent.

From an Tomlinson in On the Media:

"I don't want to achieve balance by taking programs that are the favorites of good liberals off the air. I want to make sure that when you have programs that tilt left, we also have some programs that tilt right so the viewer can make up his or her own mind...

"...I am for good investigative journalism in the tradition of "Frontline" and "60 Minutes." I have no objection to politically tilted programs. Will there be times when reporting supersedes the issue of balance? Absolutely. The public understands what it is. People here in Washington understand what it is. They can see the tilt. And what I want to do is, I want people not to regard public broadcasting as the voice of one particular ideological side in this country. I want them to hear the voices of America, the diverse voices of America on the public television." [ed.--emphasis added]

Tomlinson was an appointee of President Bill Clinton to the Center for Public Broadcasting board, after serving as the Director of the Voice of America from 1982-84 under President Reagan, and was confirmed as a member of the CPB Board in September 2000.

This is not the first time Democrats have looked to restrict free speech in recent memory.

I'm rather certain it will not be the last attempt, either.

Update: The LA Times now has an article up on the subject.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 12, 2005 01:11 AM | TrackBack