Wednesday, December 31, 2003

'Round and 'round she goes....

We've been here before, a right-wing administration attacking public broadcasting. Only the method has changed - again, the switch from the frontal assault that most would reject to sneaking in the backdoor where no one is watching.

In a December 30 email (thus no direct link) to supporters, Common Cause's CauseNET reveals that
[t]he Bush Administration has awarded two major Republican donors seats on the nine-member board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Bush appointees Cheryl Halpern and Gay Hart Gaines and their families have given over $800,000 to Republican causes in recent years.

But just as troubling are the agendas that Halpern and Hart Gaines would bring to the CPB. Both have stated views or espoused causes that call into question their qualifications to service on a board whose mission is to promote and fund public television and radio programming.

Halpern, in her confirmation hearings, indicated that she would welcome empowering the CPB board members to intervene in program content when they felt a program was biased. And, Gaines was an ardent supporter of Representative Newt Gingrich (R-GA) who, as House Speaker in 1994, proposed cutting all federal assistance to public television.
Not that CPB, increasingly enamored of corporate funding, has been so great or bold over the last several years, but at least it offered some minimal alternative. And the claws sink deeper into yet another target.

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