"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Orwell-- The US is probably moving toward becoming a heavily controlled Rightist state. This blog is an effort to document how that happened.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bushies Pressure Public Broadcasting

Public Broadcasting, which has long been denounced by conservatives for its liberal bias, has moved to the right since 1993. Even earlier, PBS sought to eliminate Republican complaints. When the Nixon Administration objected to a program that seemed to suggest that the banks were unfair to the poor, PBS rewrote its program guidelines. Later it modified John Kenneth Galbraith’s Age of Uncertainty, which dealt with different economic theories. Without informing him, it cut parts and brought on many conservative economists to criticize it. By the mid-1970s, it accepted the view that the truth is always somewhere in the middle. Both the “MacNeil/Lehrer Report” and “Washington Week in Review” were dedicated to this preposition. Still the conservative complaints persisted. While conservatives complained that reporters sometimes reached conclusions and “editorialized,” it is likely that they simply did not want information presented that would damage their positions. By the 1990s, when PBS had mastered the art of self-censorship, Bob Dole claimed that PBS conspirators hid behind Big Bird and Mister Rogers while funding gay and lesbian shows. FAIR studies found its reporting has a slight Republican edge in 1993 and was conservative in 2003. By then the Republican goal was not to destroy PBS, which would alienate moderates, but they sought to neuter and use it.

The Bush administration hastened public broadcasting’s march to the right by installing Kenneth Tomlinson CEO the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Tomlinson had many complaints about the liberal bias of public broadcasting and quickly hired conservative consultant to monitor the political content of Bill Moyer’s “Now”, which soon went off the air. A study of his e-mail traffic strongly suggested that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was behind the move to oust Moyers and move PBS to the right. He also spent millions to bring The Wall Street Journal Report to PBS. The show featured the far right commentaries of the editorial board. The program eventually failed. Tomlinson also established an office of ombudsman, headed by Mary Catherine Andrews, who had worked in the Bush White House. She was assisted by two other Republicans, William Schultz and Ken Bode. Bode was supposed to ad balance to the panel, but he was closely associated with the Hudson Institute and worked for the election of a Republican governor in Indiana. It is unclear what the function of the office might be, but some fear it will continue the task of monitoring broadcasts to detect alleged liberal bias. His successor, Cheryl F. Halpern, a major GOP fund-raiser, was poised to continue his policy. She complained about editorializing and wanted to punish reporters who did so. She was also concerned that the nation’s media was unfair to Israel.

Sherman has written African American Baseball: A Brief History, which can be acquired from LuLu Publishing on line.http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?search_forum

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About Me

Sherm spent seven years writing an analytical chronicle of what the Republicans have been up to since the 1970s. It discusses elements in the Republican coalition, their ideologies, strategies, informational and financial resources, and election shenanigans. Abuses of power by the Reagan and G. W. Bush administration and the Republican Congresses are detailed. The New Republican Coalition : Its Rise and Impact, The Seventies to Present (Publish America) can be acquired by calling 301-695-1707. On line, go to http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping. It can also be obtained through the on-line operations of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Do not consider purchasing it if you are looking for something that mirrors the mainstream media!