Friday, April 22, 2005

Wash Post "outs" Bill Moyers as a liberal commentator? Who Knew?!

So, after all this time arguing that PBS wasn't "slanted" and certainly not "biased" toward the Liberal side of the fence, comes today's Washington Post (of all places):

"PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas" (By Paul Farhi, WP Staff Writer Friday, April 22, 2005; Page C01)

Poor Bill Moyers (for years host of the right-down-the-middle news magazine, NOW) outed as a Lib right there on Page C-1. "Liberal commentator Bill Moyers is out on PBS stations."

It was in the Wash Post, so it MUST be true.

Then comes the sequence showing how -- can you believe it -- those pesky "conservative" influences seem to be takin' over the place. The Corp. for Public Broadcasting has now a "majority" of members on the 8-person board appointed by -- guess who: W, the latest two-term president who got to appoint members to the 6-year posts.

I guess it was OK that another two-term president was able to make his appointments unnoticed, but nobody in the media checked their party affiliation cards. Until now. (Why should they, they were Democrats and they're OK. They would never think to bring an "agenda" with them, would they?)

And do you know what those mean, rabid, power-gorged rascals did? Well hold onto your hats:
"In negotiations with PBS earlier this year, the corporation also
insisted, for the first time, on tying new funding to an agreement that would
commit the network to strict "objectivity and balance" in each of its programs
-- an idea that PBS's general counsel described in an internal memo as amounting
to "government encroachment on and supervision of program content, potentially
in violation of the First Amendment." "

And then there's this choice little passage:

Late last week, CPB's board declined to renew the contract of its chief
executive, Kathleen Cox, a veteran administrator at the agency. She was replaced
by Ken Ferree, a Republican who had been a top adviser to Michael Powell, the
former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The Ferree appointment
followed the dismissals or departures in recent months of at least three other
senior CPB officials, all of whom had Democratic

"We don't want to be alarmist, but I would be less than honest if I said
there wasn't concern here," said one senior executive at PBS, who insisted on
anonymity because CPB provides about 10 percent of its annual budget. "When you
put it all together, a pattern starts to emerge."

Well. I suppose anything going against that tidy grain of Liberalism apparently in place over at CPB and PBS WOULD appear as a "pattern" developing.

And it begs the question: are these unnamed sources --and the reporter by extension -- assuming that the changes being introduced by a "conservative"/Republican administration would automatically be problematic, less-reputable, or otherwise "sinister" just because they are from such an administration?

And if such changes are to be open to such loaded assumptions, where was the Wash Post asking questions when previous administrations were making similar appointments?