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Lawmakers Seek Probe Into Alleged Efforts to Politicize PBS

May 12, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Reps. John Dingell, D-Mich., and David Obey, D-Wis., have asked the inspector general of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to investigate allegations that Kenneth Tomlinson, CPB’s Republican chairman, has been trying to politicize Public Broadcasting Service programming.

“CPB’s own research has shown that the American public believes public television and radio programming is objective and balanced,” the two Democrats said in a letter to the CPB. “If CPB is moving in the direction of censorship of public affairs content based on partisanship and political views, this will severely erode the public trust that public broadcasting heretofore has enjoyed.”

In a statement, Mr. Tomlinson said he welcomes an investigation into his efforts to “to encourage public broadcasters to take more seriously the need that our current affairs lineup reflect objectivity and balance.”

Mr. Tomlinson added: “I look forward to working with the inspector general and with the Congress to clear up with finality distortions in press reports and elsewhere about our work to bring more diversity to public broadcasting. There would be no debate on this issue if more programs on public television reflected the high journalistic standards of ‘NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.'”