Today’s Blogs

Fair and Balanced and … Public?
By Darren Everson
Posted Monday, May 2, 2005, at 3:02 PM PT

Bloggers are debating the moves and motives of Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plummeting popularity, and Laura Bush’s comedy act at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Fair and balanced and … public? In the latest example of backlash against the allegedly liberal news media, CPB Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson is "pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias," reports the New York Times. Among several controversial moves, Tomlinson reportedly hired an outside consultant to keep track of guests appearing on Now With Bill Moyers and urged public broadcasting officials to air a program hosted by the editor of the Wall Street Journal‘s conservative editorial page.

Needless to say, lefties are outraged. "It’s funeral time for PBS," writes the feminist Echidne of the Snakes. The left-leaning Phonograph notes how people who allege bias among news organizations "tend to have a bias themselves." Linkmeister has some choice snippets from a recent New York Times Magazine interview with Ken Ferree, the interim president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

On liberal Wills4223, the author buttresses his opinion on the state of PBS (thumbs down) with some background information on the aforementioned Corporation for Public Broadcasting: "Congress funds CPB two years in advance to ‘shield it from momentary bursts of partisan anger," writes Will. "That was then. Now, the chairman of the CPB board is … a close friend of uber-strategist Karl Rove."

Conservative blogger, author, and radio host Hugh Hewitt disagrees, seeing Tomlinson’s actions as simply introducing "balance back into the CBP/PBS world."

Read more about the PBS flap.

An immigrant’s dilemma: It seems that California’s bodybuilder governor isn’t as big as he used to be. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time since he took office, and his stance on illegal immigrants may not be helping matters.

Schwarzenegger last week praised the Minuteman Project, the 15,000 volunteers patrolling Arizona’s border with Mexico—and whom even President Bush has labeled as vigilantes. The governor asked a TV station to remove a billboard saying, "Los Angeles, Mexico," because it might encourage illegal immigration. (There’s a shot of the billboard—and an anti-illegal-immigrant point of view on L.A. blog Darleen’s Place.)

"What could be more ironic than Governor Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-born immigrant, who at the same time, applauds the vigilante minutemen of Arizona?" points out left-leaning April Spreeman at Thought Mechanics.

Stephen Bainbridge, a blogger and law professor at UCLA, isn’t on Arnold’s side on this one: "Wake up and smell the coffee; California’s future is Latino." On InstaPundit, Glenn Reynolds offers this insight: "I have several legal immigrants in my family, and they’re pretty resentful of illegals who ignore all the rules. I suspect that Arnold feels a bit that way himself."

Read more about Arnold’s woes.

Open mic night: Laura Bush’s wisecracking at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Saturday night brought down the house. She’d just better hope it doesn’t bring down the White House.

Conservative blog The Swift Report found one pro-family advocacy group who was "appalled" by the first lady’s routine, in which she lampooned her husband and referred to herself as a "desperate housewife." The Coalition for Traditional Values, whose letter The Swift Report links to, cites Biblical passages to claim that Laura Bush’s jokes undermined the president, both as a husband and as leader of the free world.

Even Christian conservative blogs, such as Descartes’ Bar and Grill, are having fun with this one. "I missed the memo that said James Dobson guided the First Family’s decisions … oh well, I guess I’d better get with the times." Meanwhile, law prof Ann Althouse surveyed the political implications: "Was Laura’s routine a sign that we’re entering a libertarian conservative phase? I hope so."

Read more about the first lady’s comedy routine.

Darren Everson is a sportswriter in New York City

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One Response to “Today’s Blogs”

  1. Unknown Says:

    We are so far down the media bias road that we have forgotten what unbiased might look like. Let me offer my thoughts in the form of a reminder of what was once the ideal of newspaper reporting, followed by my current nominee for the How Not To Write A Newspaper Report Hall Of Fame. See <a href="http://pbswatch.blogspot.com/2005/05/publicbias.html">PublicBiaS</a&gt;

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