On subsidizing Bill Moyers

Last week, I was invited to appear on MSNBC to discuss a report in the New York Times that the Chairman of the Corportation for Public Broadcasting (a Republican) wants to bring more political balance to PBS. I couldn’t appear because of work demands, but the topic is worth considering. L. Brent Bozell III in today’s Washington Times says pretty much what needs to be said, both about the Times’ story and the underlying issue.
We’ve noted before how liberals must rely more than ever on the unelected parts of the government. This leads them to lash out at those who criticize judges or state department bureaucrats, for example. In the first instance, the independent judiciary is said to be in danger. In the second, the integrity of our intelligence process is at stake.
PBS is probably the most reliable remaining leftist enclave with attachments to the federal government. As Bozell shows, its head Pat Mitchell helped produce CNN’s biased documentary “Cold War,” and her first act upon taking over was to give Bill Moyers his weekly forum for bashing conservatives (Bozell provides a helpful sampling of what that has meant). In this context, it is easy to understand why liberals are so intent on preserving PBS as it is.
We can’t do without judges or State Department bureaucrats. But we can do quite nicely without publicly funded political broadcasts. Thus, Bozell is right — the task is not to promote balance at PBS; the task is to take the government out of the political commentary business.

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