About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Tomlinson resigns from CPB board

More trouble for ultra-conservatives, just not a good couple of weeks for you folks, eh? (Yup, I'm gloating, and I ain't apologetic about it either!) Kennet Tomlinson, until yesterday chairman of the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has resigned amidst controversy that he tried to politically influence both National Public Radio and the Public Television System that he was supposed to oversee. The resignation was demanded by the board of CPB while it is investigating the ethics of Tomlinson's behavior.

The CPB is a public corporation that raises and distributes funds to public radio and tv, and it is supposed to shield public broadcasting from political influence, trying to maintain an independent public media. But Tomlinson came on board at CPB with the declared intention to redress what he saw as a liberal imbalance in public broadcasting (another version of the idiotic "media conspiracy" theory so popular among conservative paranoids).

As a result of his warped worldview, Tomlinson forced the beginning of a weekly radio show on NPR run by conservative analysts from the Wall Street Journal, hired a number of Republicans with close ties to the White House, and made the former chairwoman of the Republican National Committee CEO of the public broadcasting corporation. Moreover, he went so far as to hire -- without permission from the board of CPB, and using their money -- a consultant who was charged with rating the ideological content of public broadcasts, attempting to "demonstrate" the bias that Tomlinson knew was there.

But conservatives have been discovering lately that there is indeed a limit to what they can do in this country, at least for now. Tomlinson's resignation, the debacle of Harriet Miers' nomination to the Supreme Court, the indictment of Lewis Libby, and the fact that the Democrats seems to be showing some (small) balls by unexpectedly calling for a close door session of the Senate, are all interesting developments that would have been hard to forecast just a few weeks ago. Hopefully, there is much more to come...

1 comment:

  1. This has been a good week - Tomlinson gone, Libby indicted, the Dems "hijacking" the Senate and Bush met with dirision in Argentina. Maybe the's hope after all.


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