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May 30, 2005

Association of ombudspeople smacks down Tomlinson

The NYT reports that the Organization of News Ombudsmen (everybody has an organization these days!), or ONO, has refused to admit the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's team of one "liberal" and one "conservative" ombudsman to full membership.  The Corporation's chairman, Kenneth Tomlinson, has been on something of a mission to combat the supposed liberal bias of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio, and part of his strategy is to name these two "ombudsmen" at the Corporation (not itself a news-gathering organization) to monitor whether PBS and NPR are slanting their coverage.  A curious use of the term "ombudsman," to be sure - the usual meaning of a news ombudsman is someone who represents, and responds to, the readers, listeners, or viewers of a news outlet, not the hack who happens to be serving as one of the news outlet's major funders.

ONO, apparently of the view that the Corporation's two ombudsguys weren't really "ombudsmen," wouldn't let them in.  One must add, however, that the person behind this action appears to have been Jeffrey Dvorkin, the ombudsman for - you guessed it - NPR.  Oops.  Of course, we're certain that the decision to bar the Corporation's ombudsfolks from full membership in ONO was entirely on the merits.

The ball is now in Tomlinson's court.  Let's see how hard he decides to smack it!

Posted by David at 09:00 PM in National | Permalink


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Just one point: it's National 'Public' Radio, 'Public' Broadcasting System, and the Corporation for 'Public' Broadcasting.

I'm sorry to have to be the one to break the news to you, but at least half the 'Public' tilts conservative. So, splitting the ombudsmanship is entirely appropriate, reflecting the reality on the ground, as it were.

Of course, since the ONO is presently controlled by the left, it's not surprising they would reject any attempt at balance like an infection, since if it works out, it's the next stage towards the end of the 'workers collective' that controls the means of production in the MSM.

The correct way to handle this is to stop giving money to, and publishing the works of, those organizations that are biased and refuse to address the issue. I'd be happy to have PBS, NPR &c that was entirely viewer-funded. That way, the shows like Frontline can go the way of "Democracy Now" - be shown on public access television between the ranting guy in a blue dress and the failed rappers.

What we have now is a government-sponsored propaganda channel for the DNC, and that is entirely unacceptable.

That said, I do enjoy 'My Word' and that other newsish humor show on occasion, and the occasional BBC flick on PBS, but I won't shed a tear for their loss. I'd bet, in the free market, someone else would be happy to pick them up.

Posted by: JRP | May 31, 2005 7:48:05 PM

Oh my, "government-sponsored propaganda channel for the DNC" - what planet do you live on??

First, what so many people fail to see, is that right now, the *TRUTH* has an anti-Republican bias. Because they are cronyist, corrupt and abusive of their power. Now, I'm the first person to say that Democrats (or liberals) are not perfect either (like *cough* Finnerin, thank goodness he's gone), but hey, if the truth hurts, maybe there's a reason.

NOW is not a propaganda machine by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Moyers had lots of conservatives on (and smart ones, too, wonder where he found those? no one else seems to be able to). But it delves into the depths of reporting that no one else dares to go these days - it used to be called investigative reporting, but now it's just called rare.

Secondly, our public tv and radio stations get very little of their funding from the government - I think at last count it's at about 10% on average? Most of the funding is now from the public directly, and (very unfortunately) largely from corporations.

Posted by: Lynne | May 31, 2005 9:17:38 PM

Lynne -

Wrongo. 10% of PBS's funding comes _directly_ from government, others come from the CPB and other indirect sources.

Between NPR and PBS's 1.7 billion dollar national, regional and local revenue, 18% comes from the CPB and federal grants and contracts, 18% comes from State governments, and 6.5% comes from State Colleges and Universities. That's about 2/3 government funding, directly or indirectly. Another major source of funding are those big charities, some of which get grants from the government as well. It's a shell game - a scam.

Above, I used the term 'workers collective' above advisedly - the workers controlling the means of production in this field have radical control over it's output (the content). What they focus on, what they avoid, the spin, the tolerance for questionable reporting, etc. In this case, it's become entirely obvious that this power is abused at all levels. Dry up the money will dry up the abuse of power. They'll have to get real jobs - and do real reporting.

I've met a couple of people who work for public broadcasting, one was a producer for both PBS and a major network. They were narcomarxist, pomo freakjobs. I have no doubt that any of the three of them have no scruples at manipulating a report. It's partly because the power-dialectical philosophy indoctrination that underpins modern communications programs lets them construe that they are not just allowed to - but they are obliged to - manipulate people for their own good.

Obviously, they wouldn't put it like this. Which only serves to underscore my point.

Posted by: jrp | Jun 1, 2005 8:27:53 PM

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