Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tomlinson Doublespeak

Kenneth Tomlinson under oath before Senate, July 11, 2005:
The decision to add Paul Gigot and the Wall Street Journal Editorial Report was one that involved a lot of people at both PBS and CPB. It was a decision that I saw no opposition to, and I was not directly involved in negotiating any contracts involved -- involving in it.
But in a December 4, 2003 email to Paul Gigot, he wrote:
Red State Ken
Paul – I understand PBS is going to be talking to you about assuming a role that will serve as a political balance to Moyers, I do not trust Pat Mitchell but I have a deal with others stipulating that you will have access to the same deal Moyers has. So do not accept if they try to toss you onto Moyers’ show as an after thought commentator.
Tomlinson in email to Gigot, February 8, 2004:
We have a deal that Moyers will be balanced this fall. We'll hold up her [Pat Mitchell's] money if she doesn't deliver this fall.
Tomlinson in email to Gigot, February 12, 2004:
We are close to a deal that would put Gigot/WSJ on public broadcasting. . . I realize God is in the details, but this is a real deal we can live with. But I don’t want to turn loose of CPB’s money or let authorization go forward until you have a show that gets everything Moyers gets except for time.
Did Tomlinson cross that line? You'll have to be the judge. We won't be certain until there's a new investigation, or until Inspector General Kenneth Konz releases the rest of his report.

Tomlinson's utterances in the press indicate similar inconsistencies. In a May 9 Los Angeles Times article, Tomlinson told reporter Matea Gold: "There has been absolutely no contact from anyone at the White House to me saying we need to do this or that with public broadcasting."

But this week Konz reported that Tomlinson repeatedly swapped e-mails about potential CPB hires with "staff in the Executive Office of the President," including Karl Rove. One of the candidates they discussed became the organization's president.

Go figure.

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