This campaign was led by Karl Rove confidant Kenneth Tomlinson, who left the CPB board in disgrace after a recent Inspector General’s report found he violated federal law to monitor and influence PBS programming and used “political tests” to hire Patricia Harrison, a former co-chair of the Republican Party, as president of the agency.
The Inspector General levels a scathing indictment of Tomlinson’s back-room maneuvering to manipulate content but it stops short of revealing the extent to which the White House orchestrated his efforts.
Missing from the report is email traffic between Tomlinson and Rove — provided to the IG by investigators at the State Department. Also missing is a “separate investigative report, along with specific evidence indicating possible wrongdoing,” that the IG made available to the CPB board. This evidence, which may reveal the White House’s hand in manipulations of public broadcasting programming, sits under lock and key at the heavily partisan CPB.
While Tomlinson is gone, he left behind a cast of GOP operatives who are reluctant to release the potentially damaging information. Newly elected CPB Chairwoman Cheryl Halpern and Vice Chairwoman Gay Hart Gaines are both major fundraisers for GOP candidates and causes. New CPB President Harrison has stacked CPB offices with former State Department officers skilled in “public diplomacy” and propaganda.
To read the rest of the report on the attacks against journalism, follow these links: