Thus far public opinion has said otherwise. And new evidence reveals that Tomlinson has turned a blind eye to the people that he is sworn to serve, which is why nearly 40,000 Americans are now calling for him to step down.
The CPB head's true mission -- which he shares with acting president Kenneth Ferree -- is to serve the Republican Party and remake our PBS into another White House mouthpiece. The views of an overwhelming majority of Americans have no part in this partisan plan.
Earlier this week Ferree urged public broadcasting executives that "CPB, funded as it is with taxpayer dollars and guided as it is by statutory language, has special responsibilities to strive toward objectivity and balance." Tomlinson was more direct than Ferree when he told the New York Times: "I frankly feel at PBS headquarters there is a tone deafness to issues of tone and balance."
But those casting stones from CPB suffer from a deafness all their own. Before launching Tomlinson’s campaign for more "objectivity and balance" at PBS, CPB commissioned GOP pollster Tarrance Group to survey public opinion about PBS bias.
Here’s what the pollsters found:
- 80% of Americans found PBS programming to be "fair and balanced"
- 90% agreed PBS "provides high quality programming"
- More than 50% said that PBS news and information is more trustworthy than CNN, Fox News Channel and other mainstream news outlets
So what’s the real problem Ken?
It’s not bias at PBS but bias within the CPB. The organization that Congress put in place to act as a "heat shield" protecting broadcasters from undue political influence has been overrun by GOP operatives with a plan to fix a system that Americans overwhelmingly say is not broken.
The New York Times editorial page suggested that Tomlinson and his Republican cronies at CPB may have a larger agenda: "to 'hollow out' public broadcasting and fill it with programming that suits their political agenda. And if public broadcasting becomes too political to suit all but the most loyal Republicans or too boring in the name of balance, that could mean the slow death of such broadcasting, which could have been the goal all along."
Tomlinson has ignored public opinion and charged forward with a top-down, partisan approach to control public broadcasting. This is not about left right bias at PBS, but about political operatives intent upon hijacking the people’s airwaves for partisan gain. For this alone, Tomlinson needs to go.