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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

what does george w. have against big bird?

This really ticked me off.

Last week, the US House Appropriations Subcommittee voted to slash the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s budget for next year by $100 million and eliminated another $23 million used to pay for shows such as Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and Arthur.

They also voted to cut funding entirely from the Corporation for Publc Broadcasting within 2 years!

This seems to be a direct result of Bush's appointment of Roveite and outed-O'Reilly Factor fan, Kenneth Tomlinson, as the Chair of the CPB Board of Directors.

According to the group People for the American Way, Tomlinson has claimed to have concerns about the “objectivity and balance” of the CPB and PBS, Tomlinson has taken a series of steps to ensure that their programming better reflects the Republican mandate. In response, he has:

- Created programs to showcase conservative views such as “Tucker Carlson Unfiltered” and “The Journal Editorial Report.”

- Hired a White House staffer to draft guidelines for a new PBS ombudsman to monitor programs for bias.

- Filled the ombudsman positions with one conservative and one “liberal” who endorsed Bush’s former Office of Management and Budget director Mitch Daniels in his run for governor of Indiana.

- Replaced the CPB’s chief executive officer with a top Republican advisor to former chairman of the FCC, Michael Powell.

As if this wasn't bad enough, Tomlinson is now pushing for the appointment of Patricia Harrison, a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, to serve as the board’s next president.

What's next? Jerry Falwell's Sesame Street Hour with Big Bird, the happy and abstinent heterosexual freedom bird?

Read more: here, here, and here.


Matt said...

Jesse Walker here argues that it's probably a hardball tactic, rather than a genuine wish to defund the CPB. His argument that "the Republicans would rather control it than defund it" sounds plausible to me.

Personally, I'm hoping for his best case scenario. Does anyone really believe Sesame Street would disappear into oblivion if it wasn't subsidized by the government?

holtopia said...

Vichy pigs!

daveberta said...

Still, I think the idea of "controlling" it is pretty scary. In my opinion, PBS is the only major US network not corrupted into the mainstream sesationalist mentality.

Plus, I think the World (Americans included) would launch a Jihad against Bush if Sesame Street got cancelled! :P