Few news stories are funnier than Reps. John Dingell and David Obey attempting to fuss about “political interference” in public broadcasting. Since the system was founded in 1967, public broadcasting has been defined as liberal “political interference” in any plan for conservatives to be victorious. To be truly balanced out to compensate conservatives for thirty years of liberal bias, NPR’s “news” programs ought to be replaced by Rush Limbaugh reruns for about a decade. Play this game with liberal friends: name one Democratic politician or liberal nominee who’s ever had their career stopped or mangled by public broadcasting. Then remember that NPR’s Nina Totenberg destroyed Douglas Ginsburg’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and almost destroyed Clarence Thomas with Anita Hill’s still-unproven allegations. Were they rough on Clinton? PBS’s idea of being tough on the Clintons was the “Frontline” on “Hillary’s Class,” or the “Frontline” with seven liberals (and no conservatives) exploring why Clinton wasn’t liberal enough.
There are two very different conceptions of what the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Liberals prefer CPB to be a “heat shield” against congressional scrutiny. They take some guff, and then pass off the money, preserving “editorial independence” (read: liberal bias with impunity.) Conservatives expect CPB to transmit the concerns of frustrated taxpayers that the system does not seek to fulfill its statutory mandate (never fulfilled) to observe fairness and objectivity “in all programming of a controversial nature.” The idea that Ken Tomlinson should be investigated for investigating PBS content, when that ought to be CPB’s job, is beyond bizarre.