Scrolling through the stories on Google covering John Kerry's acceptance speech, I was surprised to see the following NPR story:
NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Matthew Dowd, chief strategist of the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, for the Republican reaction to this week's events and messages put forth at the Democratic National Convention.
Have you also noticed how many more conservative voices are on NPR? Just yesterday, Juan Williams aired Ann Coulter's disgusting smear about Max Cleland during Morning Edition. Is NPR now using Drudge and Coulter for their news sources?
And what about the fact that CPB (the Corporation of Public Broadcasting) can fund programs showcasing Paul Gigot and Tucker Carlson, while deciding that Bill Moyer's NOW program is too controversial to fund?
According to Ken Auletta's report in the June New Yorker, Gingrich and the right wing no longer want to defund Public Broadcasting. Why would you do that when you can control what gets on the airwaves and have a "public broadcasting" version of FOX?
Moyers turns seventy this June. Three years ago, he announced plans to leave PBS in 2001. But he decided to stay on after the attacks of September 11th. He put off announcing his departure when he was under assault in the fall of 2003, but on the eve of the February congressional hearing on public broadcasting he decided to announce that he would leave after the November election, to write a book about L.B.J. His impending departure strengthened an impression that the C.P.B. was in the ascendancy--an impression that was reinforced on March 1st, when the C.P.B. announced a major programming initiative, "America at a Crossroads." Under it, up to twenty million dollars will be invested in programs dealing with post-9/11 themes. In addition, Michael Pack said he is hoping to air a culture series hosted by the conservative critic Michael Medved, with a rotating liberal co-host. "This is the first time in my thirty-two years in public broadcasting that C.P.B. has ordered up programs for ideological instead of journalistic reasons," Moyers wrote to me in an e-mail. "So now we have C.P.B. funding two right-wingers, Gigot at the W.S.J. and Carlson at CNN--God bless them both!--who already own big megaphones in commercial media. How does that make public television different?"
Pat Mitchell said, "I welcome more public-affairs programming on the air," and added, "I'd love to have the twenty million dollars!" Among other choices, she would like to continue funding the Moyers program after he leaves. (David Brancaccio, the co-host of "Now," will be hosting the program, which will be reduced from an hour to thirty minutes.) "PBS will have to make that choice," Michael Pack said, confirming that while the C.P.B. supports the Carlson and Gigot programs, there won't be any financial support for "Now."
Perhaps the time has come for a completely separate liberal network that counters the VRWC as was suggested in Matt Bai's article in the New York Times last Sunday. Yet, the fact that we can't find a way to provide honest and intelligent news on TV for the ordinary American who is just checking in during the evening news hour is worrying. How can a country maintain a democracy without a well-informed public that at least agrees about what the basic facts are, even if they disagree about the policies for addressing the facts.Posted by Mary at July 30, 2004 04:47 PM | Media | Technorati links |