Monday, December 05, 2005

Gigot's Price for Gratitude

The War on the Press
It cost taxpayers $4 million for disgraced former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chair Kenneth Tomlinson to win the gratitude of the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot.

In his sign off from the PBS network, Gigot praises Tomlinson for "defending the importance of balance and diversity on public television."

It was Tomlinson who skimmed $4 million in public funds to help Gigot bring the Journal Editorial Report's free market hi-jinks to PBS on Friday nights. And for that Gigot is grateful.

But he fails to mention the recent Inspector General investigation that found Tomlinson's efforts on behalf of the Editorial Report to be gross violations of federal law and the agency's own ethical codes. According to the IG report, Tomlinson:
". . . admonished CPB senior executive staff not to interfere with his deal to bring a balancing program to PBS. These actions raise questions about the extent of the former Chairman's involvement in selecting and funding of The Journal Editorial Report. Specifically, the questions involve whether he breached his fiduciary responsibilities, was directly involved programming decisions, influenced the program format increasing the cost of the program, and exceeded his role as a Board member in directing the actions of CPB staff." [my emphasis]
Maybe Gigot missed that.

Or maybe he missed the CPB's own public polling, which found that 80 percent of Americans already believed PBS to be fair and objective. Public opinion be damned; instead, Gigot and Tomlinson subscribed to the maxim: "If it ain't broke, let's make up reasons to fix it."

PBS needs "balance and diversity" they crowed, as they schemed to deliver it by airing a show peopled by white, Bush-friendly conservatives. Can't you just feel the diversity?

Gigot seems also to have not read his own emails with Tomlinson, in which the two conspire to turn public broadcasting into a bullhorn for Bush. Nor did Gigot mention that these emails indicate that Tomlinson lied before Congress, when he told Senator Inouye that he had nothing to do with the agreement that landed Gigot's news program at PBS.

The emails read like archetypal Fox News Channel banter. And their back and forth about "balance" must have pricked up the ears of FNC's media czar Roger Ailes.

Soon after the Editorial Report pulled up its stakes at public broadcasting, they announced plans to move the circus to Fox News Channel -- home to a brand of “fairness and balance” that Paul Gigot might better understand.

3 comments:

RADdams said...

Timothy,

I am honored to be your 275,000th BLOG visitor and will attempt to share my appreciation for that honor by summarizing my take on the e-mail link you included in today's Gigot-Tomlinson Affair BLOG.

I read the 20 pages of e-mail correspondence between Gigot and Tomlinson that you shared with us. There is one overriding smell I perceived from the ego-maniac that is Ken Tomlinson and that is bad barnyard smells.

I quote him: "All I can do is save the country!" KT

"Paul, protect me on this. I'm breaking my word by forwarding this Mintz/Moyers stuff...Please, please do not show anyone." KT

And readers, how can I ignore Paul Gigot's own words? Here is his prophecy: "Someday this is all going to make for a hilarious tale." PG

Finally Mr. Gigot, as this affair now stands I'm not laughing and I bet you aren't either. Maybe it is time for Ken Tomlinson to spend more time at the farm!

Respectfully,
Jeff Adams

RADdams said...

Timothy,

I am honored to be your 275,000th BLOG visitor and will attempt to share my appreciation for that honor by summarizing my take on the e-mail link you included in today's Gigot-Tomlinson Affair BLOG.

I read the 20 pages of e-mail correspondence between Gigot and Tomlinson that you shared with us. I pinched my nose, but there is an overriding smell I detected from the ego-maniac that is Ken Tomlinson and that is one bad barnyard smell.

I quote him: "All I can do is save the country!" KT

"Paul, protect me on this. I'm breaking my word by forwarding this Mintz/Moyers stuff...Please, please do not show anyone." KT

And readers, how can I ignore Paul Gigot's own words? Here is his prophecy: "Someday this is all going to make for a hilarious tale." PG

Finally Mr. Gigot, as this affair now stands I'm not laughing and I bet you aren't either. Maybe it is time for Ken Tomlinson to spend more time at the farm!

Respectfully,
Jeff Adams

D.D. said...

It's something of a relief to understand that the deal was crooked from the beginning, because that Wall Street Editorial Board show was the worst piece of crap I've seen on any channel. (I don't watch FOX.) I have never seen such a self-satisfied bunch of right-wing cranks and bigots assembled at the same table. As a "balance" to NOW it was a joke, and I stopped supporting my local PBS station as a result. I'm still not over it! But I'm sure glad they're gone--Gigot (self-satisfied prig that he is), Tomlinson, and all the rest of that crew. Let's just hope that no clones of the same ilk replace them! And bring back an hour-long NOW. Braccacio (sp?) may not be Bill Moyers, but he gets high marks for his earnest effort.

D.D. Delaney