ON MONDAY, President Bush released plans to inject more tax dollars into the government's propaganda machinery while slashing the budget for the nation's public broadcasters.
Bush's proposed 2007 budget calls for a $671.9 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency that supervises all US government non-military propaganda. Bush’s budget also cuts by more than $53 million money set aside for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the agency that allocates federal money for NPR, PBS and other federally funded media.
The amount allocated to the BBG is a 4.3 percent increase from the agency's 2006 budget with monies specifically "targeted to the war on terror," according to a Monday news release. These tax dollars would flow to government mouthpieces including the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
The propaganda earmark exceeds Bush's proposed federal budget for public broadcasting by more than 90 percent. The White House proposal seeks to slash the CPB's 2007 appropriation from $400 million to $346.5 million.
The budget also proposes to "zero out" an additional $65 million that local public broadcasters had requested to help pay for digital TV conversion and the costs of upgrading public broadcasting's satellite interconnection system. These cuts would hobble NPR and PBS stations' ability to deliver the investigative reporting and in-depth news and information that's absent from the programming of their commercial counterparts.
This twist of Bush's budgetary knife lays bare the White House's information priority: Fake news trumps real reporting.
"In the post-Katrina budget environment, we are fortunate to get an increase that strengthens our role in the war on terrorism," he said in a release from the propaganda agency. Tomlinson's duplicity is laid on thick here. You may recall he was shown the door at the public broadcasting agency last November after an internal investigation exposed Tomlinson’s efforts to impose a Bush-friendly agenda on PBS, NPR and other publicly funded programming.
We thought we had seen the last of Ken then. Not so. The latest White House move still puts Tomlinson on the receiving end of Bush's propaganda dividend.