Big Bird Flies Right

The common take is that NPR is the only bastion of left-leaning media in a field of right-dominated network and cable corporate conglomerates. But that view doesn’t stand up to the facts, according to a new report by FAIR, which found more right-wing sources and airtime than left on the network. In a time when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find balanced coverage anywhere on TV, even PBS is becoming toxic.

“Republicans not only had a substantial partisan edge,” according to a report accompanying the survey, “individual Republicans were NPR’s most popular sources overall, taking the top seven spots in frequency of appearance. ” In addition, representatives of right-of-center think tanks outnumbered their leftist counterparts by more than 4-to-1, FAIR reported.

And PBS’ legendary editorial independence is now being threatened by the fact that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – whose job it is to shield public broadcasting from ideological prssure — is now becoming subject to just that via right-wing appointees

CPB’s primary mission has always been to serve as a “heat shield” between government and public broadcasting, protecting programming from government interference.  But instead of serving as a “heat shield,” CPB now is the agent of ideological interference.  And public broadcasting’s news and public affairs programs in particular will be harmed if conservative members of the CPB have their way. The New Yorker’s expose, “Big Bird Flies Right,” documents several disturbing trends.

For example, CPB’s recent decision to fund two conservative-driven shows and cut Bill Moyer’s program from 60 to 30 minutes.

Music: Tom Verlaine :: The Deep Dark Clouds

2 Replies to “Big Bird Flies Right”

  1. i actually heard moyers (or was it jim lehrer…?) talking about basically what a non-issue this FAIR report is. He said that when you have a republican administration, you have more republuican sources and vice versa. not because of pressure from either side but simply because those are usually the people you’re trying to talk to (people in the administration).

  2. Interesting. I can see the logic in that, but there’s still the point that when it came time to make an appointment to CPB, the interviewee was asked if he thought the government should be able to interject in programming decisions and he replied “absolutely not.” The interview ground to a halt. I don’t think the issue is without merit. The increasing commercialism / corporate backing of PBS in and of itself is cause for caution (although that’s a separate issue).

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