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BS: PBS under attack

04 May 05 - 12:50 PM (#1477977)
Subject: BS: PBS under attack
From: Pauline L

I just received this message:

Media Is the Issue
PBS is in jeopardy. Today's New York Times describes secret efforts by
Republican operatives to make our Public Broadcasting System more "fair
and balanced."
Kenneth Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for
Public Broadcasting (CPB) -- the government-funded organization that
was designed to shield PBS from political pressure -- is aggressively
pressing PBS to correct what he considers "liberal bias."
He secretly hired a White House staffer to help draft "guiding
principles" for the future of CPB. He brought in a consultant to
monitor the "anti-Bush" and "anti-Tom Delay" content on Bill Moyers'
NOW program, and then set up and funded right-wing commentator Paul
Gigot's new PBS program. Now Tomlinson is working behind the scenes to
stack CPB's board and executive offices with Republican Party cronies.
Together we can stop this partisan attack. Join our call to Congress,
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS station managers to:
1. Remove Kenneth Tomlinson from the CPB board.
2. Return PBS to the people by holding local town meetings in your
community. We the public -- not partisan political operatives -- should
decide what we want from PBS.
Tomlinson told the Times that he's trying to restore "objectivity and
balance" to public broadcasting. This top-down partisan meddling goes
against the very nature of PBS and the local stations we trust. Let the
people speak and decide the future of PBS, not secret dealings by White
House operatives.
Josh Silver, Exec. Director

P.S. To learn more read the recent report on "Building a Public
Broadcasting System that Deserves Public Support" by Free Press,
Consumers Union, Common Cause, Media Access Project, and the Consumer
Federation of America.

My comment: First, WETA dropped classical music and now, this!

04 May 05 - 12:52 PM (#1477979)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Clinton Hammond

It could go away all together, and I wouldn't care

04 May 05 - 12:54 PM (#1477981)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Rapparee

PBS carried a story on this a couple days ago on "All Things Considered."

It sucks. PBS is perhaps the most "fair and balanced" news source in the US.

04 May 05 - 12:55 PM (#1477984)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: DougR

Good for Tomlinson. It's about time that tax payer supported institution shakes it's liberal bias and becomes more "fair and balanced." I doubt CPB is responsible for WETA dropping classical music. You should blame WETA. Probably they considered ratings were not high enough to continue presenting the classical programs.


04 May 05 - 01:27 PM (#1478001)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Rapparee

I dunno, Doug. CPB doesn't receive a lot of its funding from Congress -- not really enough to make it a "tax payer supported institution."

Who pays for public broadcasting?

    * In FY2002, public broadcasting's revenue was $2.3 billion.

    * The biggest single source of revenue - 26 percent - was membership. Subscription contributions to local stations and "Friends of…." groups provide critical support for public broadcasting.

    * The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives an appropriation from the federal government. By law, 95 percent of this money goes to support local television and radio stations, programming, and improvements to the public broadcasting system as a whole.

    * Businesses and foundations contribute 22.8 percent of public broadcasting's revenues. Colleges and universities - both public and private - account for 10.6 percent.

Membership $593,525,000 26.0%
Business $376,182,000 16.4%
CPB Appropriation $350,000,000 15.3%
State Governments $322,460,000 14.1%
State Colleges         $186,062,000 8.1%
Foundations         $147,130,000 6.4%
Miscellaneous         $125,296,000 5.5%
Federal Grants and Contracts $59,454,000 2.6%
Local Governments $58,232,000 2.5%
Private Colleges $33,404,000 1.5%
Other Public Colleges         $22,993,000 1.0%
Auction $12,367,000 0.5%

Total          $2,287,105,000 100.0%

It's all on the CPB website.

04 May 05 - 01:34 PM (#1478005)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: John Hardly

PBS isn't a news source. PBS carries a few news sources. All of them are biased. All of the programming that is considered "hard news" on PBS is biased in favor of the left.

The commentary shows are all biased too. Of those, most are biased in favor of the left, some are biased in favor of the right.

The fact that some of the commentary shows favor the right does not make their "news" shows balanced.

04 May 05 - 02:03 PM (#1478029)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Stilly River Sage

No, they're not hard to the left, John. Only a few come from specific positions, and are balanced by others. Remember all of the nonsense we used to get from the MacLaughlin report? (Is that still on? I got sick of his harping.) Well Bill Moyer provided a nice balance, the yin and yang of news opinion. Mostly the positions are open and try to be fair. That's what the right finds threatening--that "fair" part of the coverage.

If a story turned up on the radio it was NPR, not PBS. Or it was one of the several public radio affiliations. They're all connected, but they aren't the same.


04 May 05 - 02:29 PM (#1478043)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: John Hardly

Moyers is not objective. Do you really think there's even a remote possibility that Moyers votes Republican? Ever?

All who are involved in news and commentary (on PBS or NPR for that matter) come from positions. They're human. Most come from the left. All the hard news comes from the left. Even if there is an attempt at the appearance of "objectivity" by virtue of having an opinion expressed from the right as well as from the left, it is still the left that controls the programming, the questions, what stories are covered, what stories are spiked.

I'm not "threatened" by objectivity. I listen to both. I enjoy PBS and NPR but I'm as aware of their position while watching them as you might be if you ever decided to take a gander at FOX.

There is power to be had in projecting the illusion of objectivity. It has been news programming's stock-in-trade for a very long time. I don't think any news organization should be able to trade on that illusion. I think the curtain should be drawn and the light let in so that everyone knows up front that Moyers is equally biased as Brit Hume (for instance).

04 May 05 - 02:46 PM (#1478062)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Stilly River Sage

You missed the point, John. I know that Moyers is distinctly from the liberal side, and I think that's fine. I applaud his openly and frankly liberal intellectual position. My point is that he was a suitable counterpoint to MacLaughlin's equally far right position. And a good counterpoint to people like William F. Buckley who was on PBS for years. And Tony Brown had his unique positions on things. The point is, the PBS network had room for all of them. They don't try to muzzle them and aim at some sterile middle ground. The right would muzzle the left and try to call it "balanced." Ha.

FOX is a joke--there isn't an attempt to provide varied viewpoints or positions over there.


04 May 05 - 02:49 PM (#1478066)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: CarolC

PBS has been a corporate mouthpiece and a propaganda arm for special interests for a long, long time. The only thing "Public" about Public Broadcasting is the fact that the public are encouraged to send them money. The content and the message are anything but "public", and this has been the case for many years.

04 May 05 - 02:52 PM (#1478068)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: GUEST,.gargoyyle

I am 100% for cutting the federal funding on PBS-TV-Radio.

Fair, Objectice, Educational - NOPE! With a 5% cut - they would probably be forced to not buy some of the biased material from left wing reports in Iraq, Lebbanon, Afganistan, pro abortionists, anti Catholic church.

A 5% cut - would certainly NOT be the unkindest cut of all.


04 May 05 - 02:58 PM (#1478074)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: John Hardly

Sorry, I didn't realize that we were agreeing.

We agree that they have commentary from both sides. What I'm not sure that we agree about, however, is that what is passed off as "hard news" is from the left. The News Hour (Jim Lehrer), while an enjoyable and informative program, purports to be "news" but is decidedly edited from the perspective of the left.

That's all we seem to disagree about then?

04 May 05 - 03:49 PM (#1478112)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: GUEST,petr

It is clearly an attempt to muzzle free speech.
Bill Moyers left and was replaced by Tucker Carlson. (of Crossfire which has since been cancelled) Tucker Carlson (clear right wing bias) has since left pbs but in the ad for his show, he stated that he has no time for anyone who cant explain their position in 30 seconds or less.

Thats the problem with American news, many if not most issues require a hell of a lot more than 30seconds.

PBS shows such as Bill Moyers NOW, MaCNEil Lehrer Newshour, Charlie Rose, Frontline,
offered a refreshing alternative to Fox and most biased non-news chat shows like O'Reilly, Hannity etc. Even CNN which tries to be portray itself as more balanced than Fox had an interview in which Karen Hughes from the Bush Administration replied with a straight face that
Americas invasion of Iraq did not in fact alienate its European allies and the rest of the world, and the interviewer didnt even call her on it.

what the hell, it worked for Goebells.

04 May 05 - 04:05 PM (#1478140)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: darkriver

You remember that old saw? --"Freedom of the press is guaranteed to him who has one."

So free speech is still there. Only problem is, outside of PBS, all the media owners are right-wingers, and they are busy OWNING all the supposedly public airwaves, and consolidating their power (cf ClearChannel in the US).

So broadcasting free speech is coming to an end. DougR, garg, others--relax, it's in the bag, "fair and balanced" TV and radio will soon be: Nothing but the Republican Party line all the way. Nothing to disturb your wa.

Thank god there's still the Internet. And technically, they won't be able to hijack that.


04 May 05 - 07:04 PM (#1478284)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack

So what's Fox news? Balanced? Why does the right uphold the right of free speech and then work it's arse off to deny it. There are posters here who won't be satisfied until all dissent from their views is supressed. And what do you call a society like that?

04 May 05 - 07:23 PM (#1478307)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: McGrath of Harlow

Thank God we've got the BBC...

05 May 05 - 12:12 AM (#1478509)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: CarolC

"National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the hundreds of public TV and radio stations across the U.S. are the institutions which, in aggregate, are known as public radio and television. Over the past 10 years, these publicly funded organizations have collaborated with corporate interests to erode the distinctions between commercial and non-commercial broadcasting, leading to the creation of a privatized "public" broadcast system that meets the needs of corporate and governmental sponsors but leaves local communities, ethnic "minorities," and the listening public out in the cold.

The recent response of these "public" entities to two new broadcast technologies--Low Power FM radio (LPFM) and satellite radio--hint at what public radio will likely become in the future, unless grassroots producers and listeners mobilize to reverse the current trends...

...Satellite radio, on the other hand, will allow two multinational corporate consortiums to broadcast up to 100 radio channels each--direct from space--to specially equipped radios anywhere in the U.S. It will require the manufacture of millions of new receivers, costly and risky launches of multiple satellites into stationary orbits over the U.S., and millions of dollars from advertising and mandatory monthly subscriptions to keep it functioning. Content will be determined by two private corporations, Sirius and XM Satellite Radio, with none of the channels mandated to provide public broadcasting. Sadly, most of "public" radio has thrown its support behind satellite radio, and used deception and insider political clout to limit FCC licensing of Low Power FM stations."

Read more here

05 May 05 - 12:15 AM (#1478510)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: beardedbruce

"stationary orbits " ?

Please..... synchronous orbits, to be correct.

05 May 05 - 12:58 AM (#1478525)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: DougR

McGrath: The BBC? Surely you jest.


05 May 05 - 01:27 AM (#1478532)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: khandu about "geo-stationary"?


05 May 05 - 02:31 AM (#1478555)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: beardedbruce

I can live with that. Not actually required, if a constellation of s/c are used in a lower orbit.

05 May 05 - 07:56 AM (#1478656)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Donuel

Although I have made 4 posts regarding this imposed transition of National Public Broadcasting over the last 2 months there has been no reaction here till now.
Its not NPR or NPB that conservatives want to abolish. It is basicly just two shows. Frontline and Now. If those expose' shows went away they would be content. For now the new NPB Tucker Carlson show is supposedly offering the balance and propoganda the right likes to see.

No they do not want to dismantle public stations, they just want to change the content to match the rest of the corporate owned media

Don't worry the right will be content if just Frontline and Now disappeared...That is until they insist upon the Billy Graham show to be aired every Sunday :I

05 May 05 - 02:47 PM (#1478851)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack

Donuel: I respectfully disagree with you. I think there are many (Conservatives to be sure) that question tax money being used to support NPR or NPB. I am not one, because I enjoy listening to both. I do wish they, particularly NPR would present a more politically balanced format though. In my opinion, NPB is particularly biased to the left. Offering listeners (or viewers)both sides of a question as Fox News does, does not, also in my view, constitute propaganda.


05 May 05 - 03:00 PM (#1478864)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: Donuel

In other words the National Geographic shows can stay but Frontline must go.

05 May 05 - 08:11 PM (#1479059)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: GUEST,petr

the Irony of American news is that to hear any real news more and more people turn to the 'fake news' Daily Show, which is one of the few shows thats critical of the administration, and yet has had right leaning guests such as Zell Miller, Bill O'Reilly etc.

05 May 05 - 09:33 PM (#1479112)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack

There's really no reason why PBS shouldn't be a bastion of left-leaning public affairs broadcasting, if for no other reason than to offset the endless torrent of right-leaning programming readily available everywhere else. (And no reason why American taxpayers shouldn't pay for it, given how many things we're required to pay for that we really would rather not.)

05 May 05 - 10:20 PM (#1479139)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: jaze

What about stations that carry nothing but Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage. Fair and balanced?

06 May 05 - 04:48 PM (#1479621)
Subject: RE: BS: PBS under attack
From: DougR

jaze:if there was no audience for those you named, stations would not carry them. No one is required to listen to them.

Guest: I concede your point that the Congress appropriates funds to many programs that many citizens find offensive. I was merely pointing out my own objection to PBS. I recognize that you have a right to think otherwise.