In an administration full of Teflon-coated liars – President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Rice come to mind – Ken Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), stands out as perhaps the lying-est liar of them all.
Recently, however, Tomlinson has made a series of public statements that are demonstrably false. Media Matters has compiled a list of the chairman’s provable lies that is so spectacular that it would shock a used car salesman.
The charter of the CBP explicitly states that its role is to protect public broadcasting from political interference. As with the Bushes’ “Clear Skies” initiative that allows for increased air pollution and the myriad other “through the looking glass” policies of this Administration, they have put a political hack into the job of protecting an invaluable cultural resource from political hackery.
You won’t hear about the serial lying of the chairman of the CPB in the mainstream media, so please visit Media Matters for the full descriptions. Meanwhile, here are justa few of his lies from their list:
– In a letter to a U.S. senator, Tomlinson said CPB Kathleen Cox president approved and signed the contract to hire a rightwing media consultant to monitor the Bill Moyers show in order to catch Moyers criticizing President Bush when, in fact, Tomlinson signed the contract himself five months prior to hiring Cox.
–Tomlinson denied that Mary Catherine Andrews had done work for CPB while she was still employed at the White House as director of global communications. A broad inquiry by the CPB inspector general has uncovered a series of emails proving Tomlinson’s above statements false – that Andrews did extensive work for the CPB while on the White House payroll.
–Tomlinson claimed that he had had no communications with Bush White House regarding public broadcasting, but leaked emails show that he regularly took instruction from the White House on arcane matters like appointments to high-ranking positions in the CPB and even the wording of the job title for an appointee.
–Tomlinson said he publicly released polls showing the public did not find liberal bias in reporting on NPR and PBS when, in fact, the polls have yet to be fully released.
–Tomlinson said he hired both a conservative and a liberal omsbudman, but the “liberal” is Ken Bode, a journalist who has publicly supported Republican candidates like Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who once headed the budget office for Bush II.
These lies by the head of the CPB come to light at the same time that the conservatives who control Congress are passing legislation to de-fund public broadcasting. It is obvious that Tomlinson’s role is to work inside the institution to help the Rightwing tear it down.
You have to wonder if there is anyone who can stop them, or even if anyone cares enough to try.