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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

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 Report: PBS not biased

In order to protect us from the mythical liberal media bias, Ken Tomlinson appointed a pair of ombudsmen to watch over PBS and NPR. He appointed one moderate conservative (Ken Bode) and one ultra-conservative (William Schultz). It looks like he may have to find an even more conservative pair to make claims of liberal bias. The Washington Post reports on how they failed to back up Tomlinson's claims of bias:
Instead, Bode and Schulz have been positively glowing in their assessments of the journalism heard on NPR and seen on news shows distributed by PBS. So glowing, in fact, that Schulz and Bode's reports, which are posted on CPB's Web site could easily be excerpted in the shorthand style of a movie ad quoting favorable reviews. To wit:

"First-rate.... Insightful interviews.... In all, two excellent reports." -- Schulz on NPR's reporting from Mosul, Iraq, in late April.

"Excellent.... Informative.... These two reports gave a nuanced and balanced view of the situation. . . . Kudos to the producers, reporters and editors." -- Bode, on the same stories.

"An excellent curtain raiser!" -- Bode on an NPR report about an upcoming court-martial of a Marine accused of murdering two Iraqis.

"High praise to Mississippi Public Television for an important job well done, and for ably fulfilling its mission of public service to the state." -- Bode on coverage of the trial of Edgar Ray Killen, the former Ku Klux Klan member accused and convicted in the death of three civil rights workers.

"TV at its best." -- Schulz on the three-part PBS series "The Appalachians."

Neither ombudsman mentions a lack of "balance" -- a frequent Tomlinson criticism -- in the programs reviewed. Indeed, neither comments one way or the other about the political leanings of the few programs that were reviewed.

(Cross-posted from LightUpTheDarkness.)

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