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POLITICS: A Different Reception For Public Broadcasting

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posted on May, 21 2005 @ 01:15 AM
Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, was watching Bill Moyers' program on PBS in November of 2003, when he came to the realization that liberalism is too prominent on public television and radio. Predictably, the response to Tomlinson's efforts to balance the political tone of public broadcasting has been met with some harsh criticism.
[Kenneth Y.] Tomlinson, 60, isn't just any conservative with a complaint about liberal media bias. As chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he heads a private but congressionally chartered agency that hands out federal funds -- $387 million this year -- to PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and TV stations around the country.

Tomlinson's contention -- liberalism is too prominent on public TV, radio news and talk programs while conservative ideas are marginalized -- has been met with aggressive denials, concern and suspicion within the public broadcasting establishment. Some suggest that Tomlinson isn't really interested in fairness as much as promoting conservative ideas.

Bearded and roly-poly, the friendly, soft-spoken Tomlinson expresses surprise at the reaction his initiatives have received. "I never started out to make a campaign of this," he said this week, sitting in CPB's offices across from the FBI Building in downtown Washington. But he added that the resistance he's encountered, particularly from PBS President Pat Mitchell about Moyers's program, is "symbolic of the tone-deafness" and "intellectual dishonesty" of public broadcasting's leadership.

"This is not a controversy that I brought to public broadcasting," Tomlinson said. "There is an element within public broadcasting that brought this controversy on itself."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In my opinion, the political tone of public broadcasting has leaned left for as long as I have been a viewer and listener. There was a time when I welcomed such bias as a breath of fresh air. Over the years, however, public broadcasting became predictable and increasingly strident, causing me to tune it out completely. The most disappointing thing for me was when my favorite fine arts radio station, WWNO-FM of the University of New Orleans, was insidiously commandeered by National Public Radio in the late eighties and early nineties.

I was both a member of the station and a student at UNO when all this came about, so I was aware of a lot more than just a gradual shift in emphasis from music to politics. I am very pleased that someone has, at least, acknowledged this reality and is endeavoring to do something about it.

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[edit on 05/5/21 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on May, 21 2005 @ 01:20 AM
Do you have any examples of this liberal bias?

posted on May, 21 2005 @ 03:57 AM
I still believe that this "Boogeyman" is bunk.

For at least the past six years, the conservative message has been pretty dern dominant. With Fox News (Still I believe they should drop the "news" portion) gaining all of the ratings and THE RADIO having been dominated by the conservative message (forever), I think the liberal media boogeyman is a myth. (At least since I have become "aware")

posted on May, 21 2005 @ 04:24 AM
Public broadcasting as an industry should not have to suffer political attacks like this. The purpose of providing public broadcasting corporations with public funds is to make them independent of such concerns as ratings and sponsor-friendly reporting. I think the people deserve an institution that can report news critical of the government, which public broadcasting always does, even during so-called liberal presidencies like Clinton or Carter. Isn't this better than having (yet another) publically funded mouthpiece for the current administrations policies? Once politicians begin to pressure public broadcasting, it may as well be a branch of the White House press relations office.

-koji K.

posted on May, 21 2005 @ 05:46 AM
Uhh I thought PBS was funded by donations from the Viewers and is a non-profit tax-exempt entity(and we all know just how unbiased non-profits are
) ? How much funding does PBS get anyway? And from whom?

Tucker Carlson has a show on PBS fyi, so they do allow conservative voices on the air...

[edit on 21-5-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on May, 21 2005 @ 08:53 AM
"Public" broadcasting certainly has a liberal bias.
More importantly, it has become a commercial vehicle in that the sponsorship messages you hear and see on NPR and PBS constitute advertising.
Why should my tax dollars go to subsidize corporations that choose to advertise this way?

posted on May, 21 2005 @ 10:39 AM
Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here:
Someone asked if there's any proof that there's a "liberal bias"...
I'm a liberal, and I LOVE public broadcasting, (Except for Tucker Carlson...he's a dork, and has trouble with interrupting people), so if "I" love it, it must be liberally biased!

Jokes aside, yes...I'm a liberal, so of course I love to hear liberal points of view, but that guy is right...there needs to be a *little* more balance within the CPB.

posted on May, 22 2005 @ 04:07 PM

The largest source of revenue for U.S. public television stations comes from donations by individual viewers. In addition to these member fees, PBS receives federal government money through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). PBS-distributed programs may be funded in part by corporate sponsors and non-profit groups such as the Annenberg Foundation. Depending upon their location and licensee, local stations may also be funded in part by state governments, colleges and universities. They can sell small portions of their airtime in the form of underwriting, which differs from traditional advertising in terms of restrictions on language and product usage.

So if the Gov't doesn't like what PBS is saying and they refuse to change then just cut the funding. They will survive especially if they go ahead with thier Apple like TV downloading subscription service.

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