PBS (Public Broadcasting System) is a television network funded by viewers and the U.S. government, through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Praising his "lively wit" while calling him "insightful and politically savvy", the CPB has hired conservative commentator Tucker Carlson for his own half hour show, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered. Meanwhile, PBS has no comparable liberal commentary show. Shows featuring conservatives Paul Gigot and Lynne Cheney are also reportedly in the works.
Meanwhile, the CPB reportedly demanded that Bill Moyers be taken off the air for saying that the Republican's "agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine."
Eric Alterman, writing in The Nation described PBS's embrace of the right as testimony to the success of the strategy of branding the organisation as left-wing. "The far right's decades-long campaign to falsely brand PBS a leftist conspiracy - one that apparently included giving shows to such commies as William F. Buckley, Jr., Louis Rukeyser, Ben Wattenberg and Fortune magazine - has really hit pay dirt this year, first in creating a show around CNN's conservative talking head Tucker Carlson, and now, far more egregiously, in creating a program for the extremist editorial board of the Wall Street Journal," he wrote.
Funding and Politics
PBS is routinely threatened with significant budget cuts by the U.S. Congress, as part of the ideological attacks described above. In June 2006, the trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that PBS had hired "the well-connected Republican shop" of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, to avoid a 23 percent budget cut approved by House subcommittee on a Republican party-line vote.
The BG&R lobbyists working on the PBS account are "Bryan Cunningham, a former aide to Nevada Sen. John Ensign and chief staff member on the Republican High Tech Task Force; Jennifer Larkin, a staffer to ex-California Rep. and Rush Limbaugh guest host Bob Dornan, and Bill Viney, who has experience in Republican politics in Wisconsin," according to O'Dwyer's. 
For the financial year 2010, the PBS will receive a one-time $25 million appropriation from Congress. Additionally, funding for FY2010 increased $42.7 million, an increase of 8%, over 2009 levels.
Corporate Funding for Programs
The following corporations have funded PBS programs:
- Exxon Mobil
- Liberty Mutual
- Canon Inc.
- Bank of America Corp.
- Merrill Lynch
- General Motors Corporation
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad
- Pfizer Inc
- Siemens AG
- Dow Chemical Company
- Columbia Forest Products
Criticism from the Left
- Anna McCarthy, The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America (The New Press, 2010).
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Barbour, Griffith and Rogers
- Broadcasting Board of Governors
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting
- Robert G. Ottenhoff
- Newton N. Minow - Former Chair
- Colin G. Campbell - Former Chair
- Badi Foster - board member
- ↑ Eric Alterman, "PBS Adds Insult to Injury: The Liberal Media", The Nation, August 12, 2004.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "PBS Relies on BG&R," O'Dwyers PR Daily (sub req'd), June 22, 2006.
- ↑ Association of Public Television Stations, "Congress Provides Critical Funding Increases to Public Broadcasting for FY2010", Media Release, December 15, 2009.
- ↑ Sponsorship Group for Public Television, "About Our Sponsors", accessed December 2009.
- Ken Auletta, "Big Bird Flies Right", New Yorker, June 7, 2004.
- Eric Alterman, "PBS Adds Insult to Injury", The Nation, August 12, 2004.
- "Heartland PBS Series To Celebrate Agriculture", Farm Bureau News, April 21, 2005. (The article announces a half-hour weekly public television show that "celebrates the miracle of American agriculture and the farm and ranch families that help make it possible" as well as profiling the "people, places and products of U.S. agriculture." The two "flagship supporters" of the program are Monsanto and the American Farm Bureau Federation. Other "supporting contributors" include the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, United Soybean Board and U.S. Grains Council).
- Lorne Manly and Elizabeth Jensen, "Public TV and Radio to Receive Big Grants", New York Times, May 10, 2005.
- Molly Ivins, "Destroying PBS", AlterNet, June 20, 2005.
- L. Brent Bozell III, "Can Ken Tomlinson Reign in the Liberal Bias at PBS?", National Ledger, May 4, 2005.
- Christopher Getzan, "Corporate-sponsored PBS Documentary Riles Small Farming Advocates:Environment, consumer, agriculture and media watchdogs say the production of upcoming PBS show America’s Heartland exemplifies the problem of major corporations driving television journalism", The New Standard, August 23, 2005.
- "PBS Relies on BG&R," O'Dwyers PR Daily (sub req'd), June 22, 2006.
- Jim Puzzanghera, "PBS to Sell Banner Ads on Website for Children: Watchdog groups see the end of an online refuge. The broadcaster says it needs the money", Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2006.
- Alison Weir, "The Message of PBS's "Crossroads" Series: Some Muslims Are Not Bad", Counterpunch, April 17, 2007.
- Paul Farhi, "Rejected by PBS, Film on Islam Revived by CPB," Washington Post, May 25, 2007.