Friday, June 24, 2005

Propagandists Overrun Public Broadcasting

Objective and Balanced Bureaucrat
Listen to Democracy Now this morning. I'll be live at 8:15 with Amy Goodman to discuss the recent coronation of White House propagandist Patricia Harrison as president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

For those of you who don't know Ms. Harrison here's a primer: She presently serves as the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs where her primary duties were to create media materials or "good news" that would help the Arab world better understand that the Iraqi occupation was in their own best interests.

Describing her role to the House International Relations Committee in August, Harrison said, "We are helping Arab and Muslim journalists produce balanced reports and documentaries on topics from policy to culture" as well as "'good news' stories on reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan that American and foreign news editors have incorporated in their programs."

These "balanced reports" are better known as "video news releases" or government propaganda dressed up as news in order to be covertly slipped into newscasts to help sway public opinion. You can learn more about this, "payola pundits" and other propaganda at my Free Press pages devoted to fighting fake news.

Together with CPB chair Kenneth Tomlinson, Harrison forms a formidable front in the ideological campaign to both gag and starve public broadcasting. They claim that their working to correct the perception of liberal bias at PBS, NPR and other public media. They want to help America by restoring "objectivity and balance" to our noncommercial media system.

Don't believe it. Tomlinson and Harrison use "objectivity and balance" in the same way that their counterparts at Fox News Channel use "fair and balanced." It's meant more as a provocation than statement of fact. It cloaks a real intention, which is to transform our Fourth Estate into the public relations wing of the White House. They have already coopted (or "embedded") many in commercial news media , now it's public broadcasting's turn.

You can help put a stop to Tomlinson, Harrison and their fellow propagandists by joining nearly 100,000 others who have signed Free Press' petition calling for his immediate resignation.

The fight for more independent, democratic and accountable media is fight is far from lost.

UPDATE: Watch the streaming video of the interview.


B.Jeany said...

Tomlinson is such an idiot. Just about everything I respect about conservative principles came from watching Bill Moyers interview his conservative guests on NOW. They don't get that kind of respect on Fox, there's no challenge or rigor, just fawning softballs. Tomlinson and the short-attention-span pols who sicced him on Moyers should be horsewhipped for destroying the one broadcasting entity that can be called a cultural asset. Call it the stupefying of America.

April said...

I just listened to the interview on Democracy Now! Keep up the good work!!

amazingdrx said...

Excellent bloggerel!!

Fight the power..with micro-media! That's US, mega mass delusional media is THEM.

PBS is our media.

Check this out. Who determines what music is on the radio? Is it Clear Channel mega schlock?

Maybe this about KCRW and how they expose new music to US all.

The true value of public broadcasting to real culture. Aum.

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