Myth of Left-Bias in Public Broadcasting
Uncle Bill Warner
the commercial/corporate/sponsor-controlled media which stole the
public airwaves right out from under the public and used them to
entertain, misinform, and sell soap to the People, many thoughtful
folks came to the conclusion that something needed to be done to
protect the Public from this crass commercialization for the corporate
good, rather than for the common good. The obvious answer was public,
was established in 1967 during the Johnson Administration. The founding
charter, written by powerful U S. businessmen and philanthropists,
called for the public broadcasting system to "...BE A FORUM
FOR DEBATE AND CONTROVERSY" and "...PROVIDE A VOICE FOR
GROUPS IN THE COMMUNITY THAT MAY OTHERWISE BE UNHEARD." Write
that mission statement on a postcard and mail it to Bush appointee
Kenneth Tomlinson, Chairman, Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
401 Ninth Street, NW ,Washington, DC 20004-2129 . I don't think
he has read it. He is presently working apace to complete the partisan
right- wing takeover of what was supposed to be a forum for all
. He mouths the far-right's "left-wing bias" myth over
and over, and has done all he can to banish "unpleasantness"
Given the Public
Broadcasting mission statement, where are the weekly slots for Organized
Labor? Human Rights? The Poor and disenfranchised? The Homeless?
The United Nations? The Gay Community, Women's Rights? Minority
Issues? Much of the present -day PBS programming is devoted to things
of little interest to anyone save the right wing. You'll find the
Wall Street bunch and the top 5% of the population well represented.
According to a study done by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
(FAIR), however "REPRESENTATIVES OF ORGANIZED CITIZEN'S GROUPS
AND PUBLIC INTEREST EXPERTS MADE UP ONLY 7 PER CENT OF THE NPR SOURCES".
Hardly left wing bias!
Now, in all
fairness, this right-wing takeover did not begin with his appointment.
A lot of damage had already been done to PBS, and it is not by the
Left. The corporations have already gotten, like the proverbial
camel, their nose under the tent. The rest of the corporate camel
has been getting more and more into the PBS tent...with even corporate
criminals like Archer-Daniels-Midland and Grant-Thornton "underwriting"
the "news". The pusillanimous directors of PBS pretend
that the :underwriters" have no control over what is broadcast.
If you believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. PBS management
has also managed to keep literally dozens of award-winning films
dealing with left-wing issues off the air, as they might be "too
CPB chair Republican Kenneth Tomlinson former head of our "Voice
of America" right-wing propaganda radio machine, hated centrist
Bill Moyers so much so that he paid out $10,000 of taxpayers money
to a researcher to watch Moyers' "Now" show over time
and report back. He did, and Tomlinson refuses to tell us taxpayers
what the report said. I suspect it showed Moyers being a whole lot
less "left wing" than Tomlinson was willing to admit.
Why else would he suppress the study?
show, presently cut to a half hour and without Moyers, dealt with
issues the right wing would rather not have discussed, such as the
use of torture or the hardships faced by military families. Things
like that. Moyers, being devoted to balance, had guests on from
both the right and the left. He has remarked that the American Eagle
needed both a left and a right wing to fly, and that it would not
fly very well with two right wings..
money to give a weekly program by the editorial writers of the Wall
Street Journal, who don't even bother to pretend to be objective.
They are right-wing beyond argument. His choice for the president
of the CPB is Patricia Harrison, who is such a Republican activist
she was elected co-chair of the Republican National Committee. He
has also appointed two "ombudsmen" from his coterie whose
job it will be to screen programming to keep controversy off the
air. Will this lead a "balanced" range of programs representing
the interests of the People? A right wing partisan takeover of the
Public Broadcasting System (PBS-TV) and National Public Radio (NPR)
( radio)is the worst thing that can happen to America...opens the
door for total thought control as they had in Nazi Germany or Stalinist
Russia. PBS is a firewall between us and those who would rule us.
once asked a guest, "If you call a cow's tail a leg, how many
legs will it have?" "Five," came the reply. "No,"
said Lincoln, "Calling the cow's tail a leg does not make it
one." Tomlinson can parrot the big lie about left-wing bias
in public broadcasting until the cows come home, but when they do,
a careful inspection will find they four legs each. And three of
those are on the right.
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