June 10, 2005

Dubya's administration continues attack on public broadcasting.

The Dubya administration's attempt to turn public broadcasting into a propaganda arm of the government is far from over.

This week, a former vice-chair of the Republican Party emerged as the leading candidate to be the new head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. According to the Washington Post, Patricia de Stacy Harrison is being backed for the position by CPB chair Kenneth Tomlinson. Tomlinson, you'll recall, is a right-winger who wants to correct public television's 'liberal bias.'

Harrison comes with the usual set of Dubya administration qualifications. She's a former lobbyist for companies trying to fight environmental regulations. She served in the Commerce Department under Bush I, and has been in the State Department under Dubya:

In her State Department role, Harrison has praised the work of the department's Office of Broadcasting Services, which in early 2002 began producing feature reports, some coordinated by the White House, that promoted the administration's arguments for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The reports were distributed free to domestic and international TV stations. In testimony before Congress last year, Harrison said the Bush administration regarded these "good news" segments as "powerful strategic tools" for swaying public opinion.

Harrison was also co-chair of the GOP between 1997 and 2001, a position in which she raised money for Dubya and other Republican candidates. And, last but not least, she has absolutely no broadcasting experience.

Appointing another ideologue to the CPB isn't the end of Republican plans for public broadcasting, however. GOP leaders figure that if they can't control public broadcasters by loading the CPB with right-wingers, they'll just cut their funding. Yesterday, a House panel voted to cut the CPB's funding almost in half and to kill altogether a program that funds public TV programs for children.

Of course, Congressional Republicans say that there's no political motive for the CPB cuts. And pigs have wings, too.

Posted by Magpie at June 10, 2005 09:16 AM | Media | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |