Why Shouldn't The Bush Administration Take Control of Public Radio and Television?
It may be surprising that liberal Democrats are incensed that there is such a thing as free elections in the United States, and that those who win them expect to take control of the various branches of the government.
Yet from the screams of anguish that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has appointed Patricia Harrison, a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, to be its next president and chief executive, you'd think the Democrats think they have some divine right to keep public broadcasting liberal.
They don't, and it may even be good for public broadcasting to change its politics.
I listen to National Public Radio quite frequently, and less frequently watch public television, and I've been struck with how blandly liberal and predictable it always seems to be. To listen to these folks, you would believe George W. Bush had not been first elected five years ago and then reelected last year.
I suppose in the best of all possible worlds, a public broadcast ought to be well balanced and quite nonpartisan. But the world doesn't seem to function that way. We have a partisan political system, and it's amazing actually that it's taken the Republicans all this time to assert their control over the public airwaves.
The New York Times, in writing about this last week, used language indicating that its reporters Stephen Labaton and Anne Kornblut, actually believed the public stations would possibly be insulated from a change.
But they did report that Congress had recently taken steps to keep federal funding for these stations what it has been, after threatened cuts by the Republicans who control Congress.
It shouldn't be surprising that the Republicans had thought of cutting funding, if the Democrats were going to remain in control of such broadcasting.
The New York Times article quoted Beth Courtney, one of the three members of the eight-member board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting who is not a Republican, as saying she voted against Mrs. Harrison's appointment.
"I was asked by hundreds of colleagues in public broadcasting not to select someone who was in a partisan position," Courtney saud, "The stations are very upset."
Well, whoop de dee. Courtney, who is registered Independent, seems to think along with many liberals that elections don't count.
They do, and it's high time we get some conservative input on the public airwaves. It should make them more interesting.