Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Something is Rotten at CPB

The New York Times today has confirmed what we already knew.
The former chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, who was ousted from the board two weeks ago when it was presented with the details of the report in a closed session, has said he sought to enforce a provision of the broadcasting act meant to ensure objectivity and balance in programming.

But in the process, the report said, Mr. Tomlinson repeatedly crossed statutory boundaries that had set up the corporation as a "heat shield" to protect public radio and television from political interference.
The inspector general's report is the first official conclusion that Mr. Tomlinson appears to have violated both the law and the corporation's own rules. It is also the first detailed and official inside look at the dynamics of the corporation as some of its career staff members have struggled with conservative Republican appointees seeking to change its direction.

The report said investigators found evidence that Mr. Tomlinson had violated federal law by being heavily involved in getting more than $4 million for a program featuring writers of the conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.

It said he had imposed a "political test" to recruit a new president of the corporation. And it said his decision to hire Republican consultants to defeat legislation violated contracting rules.
The investigators found evidence that "political tests" were a major criterion used by Mr. Tomlinson in recruiting the corporation's new president, Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and a former senior State Department official.

According to the report, Ms. Harrison was given the job after being promoted for it by an unidentified White House official. Investigators said they had found e-mail correspondence between Mr. Tomlinson and the White House that while "cryptic" in nature "gives the appearance that the former chairman was strongly motivated by political considerations in filling the president/C.E.O. position."

A nice blow to Administration efforts to make Public Broadcasting more "objective." Demonstrates quite well what the real goal of the "objectivity" crusade was.

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