Friday, July 01, 2005

fred's fruity CPBbles

remember fred mann, the indiana mann who was hired by CPB honcho tomlinson to monitor "liberal bias" on public broadcasting? the one who the media has been trying to track down for weeks now, with little to no success? where is this guy hiding? well, his data has been released:

Mann's work was released Thursday by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who had requested a copy from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It details the views of guests on four public radio and TV programs -- "Now With Bill Moyers" and "Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered" on PBS, and "The Diane Rehm Show" and "The Tavis Smiley Show" on NPR -- that aired between October 2003 and June last year.

The report labels guests on these programs "liberal," "conservative" or "neutral" or categorizes them by such descriptions as "pro-Bush," "anti-Bush," "support administration" and "oppose administration."

It found "Now" to be rife with liberal views; of 136 segments reviewed, it said 92 "clearly opposed" administration policy, while the balance were "neutral" or "not about policy."

It also found that when "conservatives/Republicans" were guests, they "mostly opposed" the administration. Tomlinson has often cited the Moyers show in his public critiques.

But Mann never explains his labeling criteria or indicates in any detail which specific comment or comments earned a guest a particular characterization.

Dorgan pointed out that "red-blooded" conservatives such as Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and former congressman Bob Barr, R-Ga., were classified as "liberal" and "anti-administration" apparently for briefly expressing views that differed from administration policy. Dorgan called the report "kind of a nutty project" and an "amateurish attempt to prove a liberal bias," noting Mann had apparently faxed his findings to Tomlinson from Mary Ann's Hallmark, a card store in Indianapolis.

mary ann's hallmark store is at 15 e. market, in the heart of downtown. i can't tell if that's inside the city market or across the street, but it doesn't matter.

previously, we'd only known about the investigation into bill moyers. the news about investigating the other shows is new. and diane rehm is pissed:

"Is it being done to somehow force public broadcasting into some kind of retreat?" asked Ms. Rehm, who has been host of "The Diane Rehm Show," a news and interview program, on public radio for 25 years. "Is it done to frighten people to somehow alert them to the fact that they are being watched?"

Ms. Rehm may have had reason to feel aggrieved. When she interviewed Mr. Tomlinson on her program last month - nearly a year after Mr. Mann finished his largely critical, but then still secret, review of her show - Mr. Tomlinson called himself "a great admirer" of hers.

"Frankly," Ms. Rehm said Thursday, "I feel used."

he admired her so much that he hired someone to spy on her! that's almost like stalking.

more from the la times:
A summary of Moyer's programs from Oct. 17, 2003, to June 25, 2004, for example, concluded that 92 of 136 segments "clearly opposed administration/government policies." The consultant also took note of conservatives who did not hew to the administration line.

In one report, he labeled former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) as opposed to the administration for his criticism that the Patriot Act violated civil liberties. Radio host and former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock was listed as "anti-Bush" for saying the military was underpaid. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was tagged "liberal" for an interview with Smiley in which he criticized White House policy in Iraq.

Hagel spokesman Mike Buttry called the report "silliness," adding that the senator's record "speaks for itself."

Half a dozen reporters drew scrutiny as well. Associated Press President Tom Curley was listed in a chart as "liberal/Democrat" and under "oppose administration" for discussing whether there was a need for more government openness on Moyer's program.

Other reporters similarly classified were former NPR anchor Bob Edwards, New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston and Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and Robin Wright.

tucker carlson--the boy in the bow-tie who was a star on crossfire until jon stewart eviscerated the show (saying "stop, you're hurting america") and it was subsequently canceled--is not concerned about being investigated. but even carlson had some criticism:

Carlson, a conservative pundit, said he did not object to the monitoring of his PBS show but took issue with the methodology.

"I don't think bean-counting guests is a particularly accurate way to determine the political bias of a show," said Carlson, who now hosts a program on MSNBC. "I had mostly liberals on because I disagreed with them and I wanted an interesting discussion."

and remember last week, when the CPB board picked tomlinson's lackey as the new president? some are suspicious of that, and are launching their own investigation:

he Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds public television and radio, will begin an investigation into the selection of Patricia Harrison as its president, the agency's inspector general said today.

The probe, sought by Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, should be done by mid-August and will be released to the public, Inspector General Kenneth Konz said in an interview.

``It's just one of several matters that Congress has raised related to CPB operations, and we intend to give them the full facts of the situation,'' said Konz, who reports to both Congress and the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Dorgan said in a June 29 letter that some board members of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting expressed concern to him ``that the process was unnecessarily rushed'' and not as ``open and transparent'' as previous executive searches.

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