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Inside the System

May 27, 2005 | Page 4

Corporation for Political Bias

THE REPUBLICAN chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting says he wants PBS to be more conservative. Without the knowledge of his board, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson contracted last year with an outside consultant--at a cost of $10,000 for three months--to keep track of the guests' political leanings on one program, Now With Bill Moyers.

It's not surprising Tomlinson would pick Moyers' show--as opposed to, say, the conservative John McLaughlin's One on One--to make a point, since liberal journalist Moyers has long been known for his measured critiques of the political system.

But Tomlinson went further. In late March, on the recommendation of Bush administration officials, Tomlinson hired the director of the White House Office of Global Communications as a senior staff member. Tomlinson also encouraged corporation and public broadcasting officials to broadcast The Journal Editorial Report, whose host, Paul Gigot, is editor of the hard-line conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.

Strangely, while Moyers' guests included many conservatives, like Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition; Richard Viguerie, a conservative political strategist; and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform--Gigot's show by design features only members of the conservative editorial board.

Last November, when members of the Association of Public Television Stations met in Baltimore along with officials from the corporation and PBS, Tomlinson told them they should make sure their programming better reflected the Republican mandate. Later, he said that his comment was in jest and that he couldn't imagine how remarks at "a fun occasion" were taken the wrong way.
-- New York Times, May 2, 2005

The collar of money

HOW CAN dog lovers with money to burn spend their time--and their cash? New York Dog--a new magazine for the well-heeled pooch--is here to help. With stories like "Dogs on Atkins!" "You've got pee-mail!" and "Are mutts the new black?" New York Dog doesn't shy away from the tough issues facing today's pampered dogs and their humans.

Should you buy health insurance for your dog? An article titled "Insure or not so sure?" can help. Wondering if maybe your dog needs a shrink--or just some antidepressants to help take the edge off? Check out "Does your dog need Prozac?" (Yes, if your dog is suffering the loss of a caretaker or "best doggy pal," says the mag.)

And for socialites not smart enough to include their purebred in the pre-nup, the article "Ruff Justice"--featuring an interview with celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder--can tell you how to keep your dog in a custody battle. "Start a diary showing that you are the primary caretaker," is the helpful advice. "Note how many times you walk the dog."
-- Washington Post, February 15, 2005

Heard it through the grapevine

"I'M THINKING about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out--is this wrong?"
-- Right-wing talk radio host Glenn Beck

"THERE WERE times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?'"
-- Former Homeland Security Czar Tom Ridge, admitting that the terrorism-threat level was often raised by the Bush administration against his agency's advice

"IT'S LIKE TV Land going to Auschwitz and proposing to erect a statue of Colonel Klink."
-- John Carr, former member of the Salem, Mass., Historic District Commission, on the TV Land cable channel's proposal to erect a statue of Samantha, of TV's Bewitched, in the town famous for executing witches

"WE EXPECT the states to show us whether or not we're achieving simple objectives--like literacy, literacy in math, the ability to read and write."
-- George W. Bush

"BUT IRAQ has--have got people there that are willing to kill, and they're hard-nosed killers. And we will work with the Iraqis to secure their future."
-- Bush

"WE LOOK forward to analyzing and working with legislation that will make--it would hope--put a free press's mind at ease that you're not being denied information you shouldn't see."
-- Bush

"IN THIS job, you've got a lot on your plate on a regular basis. You don't have much time to sit around and wander, lonely, in the Oval Office, kind of asking different portraits, 'How do you think my standing will be?'"
-- Bush

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