Category Archives: CPB

Troy Davis Execution Date Set: BOYCOTT COCA COLA

As I noted elsewhere, the Bush/Reagan Supreme Court turned down Troy Davis’ appeal for a new trial and did so without comment, as if they didn’t need to explain why they’re allowing an execution to go forward in a case where the evidence was so insubstantial as to be non-existant and 4/5 of the witnesses recanted, claiming they’d been pressured by police and coached by prosecutors eager for a conviction.

Yesterday afternoon, Judge Penny Haas Freesemann rescheduled Davis’ execution date, setting it for the 27th of this month.

The State of Georgia is owed very little respect for the way this has been handled. Along with its other shameful acts – trying to bar the teaching of evolution in public school science classes, or allowing the GOP to steal both Senate seats as well as the governorship with doctored e-voting machines, slime campaigns, and vote caging, for examples – it is prepared to execute an almost certainly innocent man on skimpier evidence than would be required to make you pay a traffic fine.

The GOP has gone way too far, and killing a man to keep from embarrassing the cops who were played for suckers by Red Coles and the prosecutor who may have intimidated witnesses to get a conviction is a good place to get them to stop. We’ve had enough of this revenge crap, we’ve had enough of innocent people dying so the Pubs can claim they’re fighting crime – a bad, sick joke considering how many of them have been caught breaking the law, right up to the president.

I’ve been saying for a while that it’s time to fight back but it was TMiss who came up with a way to do it. Let Sonny Perdue and Coke know we’ll start a boycott of Coca Cola if Davis dies.

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Cokie Roberts and Her Slide Right

eRobin at Fact-esque caught NPR’s Cokie Roberts pushing right- wing TP’s today as shamelessly as she probably Cokie_Roberts-aever has. She seems to have abandoned her usual sugar-coating of faux-objectivity altogether.

I just heard Cokie Roberts, serious journamalist [sic], tell me that the Dems have to be careful:

The Democrats could do something things that could blow it. The Congress could seem to be ineffectual or they could seem to be overreaching. … (mentions Feingold’s censure resolution and Reid’s backing off of it) … Things like that, um, if the Democrats seem to be just piling on a pres who’s already at remarkably low approval ratings on a war that that public has turned their back on, if the Democrats pile on on that, that could be a problem.

Clever girl, our Cokie. She hit the GOP trifecta: She helpfully raised the Republican talking point of the “ineffectual Democratic Congress,” she tied the efficacy of Congress to ending BushCo’s Quagmire in Iraq without mentioning the Republican Quagmire in the Senate and then helpfully set up an impossible frame for the Democrats: They have to fix everything that BushCo has destroyed in the last six years except that they can’t do it on their own or appear rude while doing so. They have to get legislation passed by working politely with an obstructionist opposition party that was perfectly happy being a universal rubber stamp for Dear Leader and NOT PASSING A BUDGET THE LAST YEAR THEY WERE IN POWER. They have to end a war of aggression without hurting the feelings of the maniac who started it. They have to balance, weave, dodge and frolic and when they do, it still won’t be enough to win accurate coverage in the corporate media.

You almost have to be my age to remember when Roberts was a reasonably legitimate reporter and a fair if not exactly perceptive political analyst. Back in the day, Roberts was a young (30-ish) correspondent for a public broadcasting service that found its legs during Watergate and was building – or attempting to build – a reputation for journalistic excellence. She fit right in. She had unparalleled political connections, being long-time Louisiana Rep Hale Boggs’ daughter, and she used them with intelligence and wit.

But those days are long gone, and it might be instructive to examine how the slow, inexorable decay from a bright reporter to a conservative corporate mouthpiece came about.

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The CPB Board 4: Why PBS Is Moving to the Right

I forgot to mention yesterday that in response to the criticism of Luntz’s hiring (which came, so far as I am aware, from the blogosphere exclusively – I’ve seen not one comment against it in any of the mass media organs I look at every day), PBS announced that he will not, after all, be taking up a Friday night slot on Tavis Smiley’s show to bash Democrats and sell his latest ultraconservative frames (via Avedon Carol).

The Good News about the CPB Board is that a) it has enormous overall influence but no day-to-day supervisory control, and b) its members seem to be aware – or at least to believe – that they’re behind the lines in enemy territory and have to be careful lest their cover be blown to smithereens.

As Digby’s comment shows, even otherwise smart, savvy, highly-informed liberal critics remain largely unaware of the changes on the CPB Board and the rightward drift of PBS programming that began under Clinton not long after the Republicans took control of Congress in ’94. As we reach the point – which we’re now doing – where that drift becomes more obvious and less ignorable, those critics are bound to catch on. If they then succeed in convincing the largely liberal-leaning PBS audience that its favorite news outlet has become little more than a FoxLite shill for conservative talking points, there could very well be a rather nasty backlash. The Movement Cons now dominating the Board would no doubt like to avoid that contingency.

One of the ways the Board has been able to use its power without exposing its positioning is through the use of “beards” – token appointments of people who may be sympathetic to right-wing thinking or at least have no open antipathy toward it, and who in any case don’t have enough influence to sway the decisions of the dominant neocons.

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The CPB Board 3: Why PBS Is Moving to the Right

Having covered the two chief officers, we now move on to the members, and if you think the pattern is going to change, think again.

Member: WARREN BELL (Appointed by Bush)

Bell is a Burbanker, having spent most of his life in television. Until recently – when the show was canceled – he was executive producer of According to Jim, a successful ABC sit-com that was in the running for least funny network comedy series along with George Lopez, and writer/producer of shows like Ellen and Coach, which were much better.

But none of that is why he’s on the CPB Board. This is:

Additionally, in 2005, Mr. Bell began writing humorous columns for National Review Online, as well as contributing to NRO’s daily group blog, “The Corner.”

And this – especially this:

Mr. Bell has been involved with many civic organizations, including the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the Jewish Federation, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Well, what d’ya know? The FDD again, this time allied with AIPAC, the single most powerful hardline, hard-right, pro-Israel lobbying organization in the country. Amanda at Think Progress was under no illusions at the time of his appointment as to what it was all about.

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The CPB Board 2: Why PBS Is Moving to the Right

I told you it gets worse. You can’t say you weren’t warned.

Second-in-command and presumably waiting her turn for the Chair is a woman whose resume makes Halpern’s look soft as a melted marshmallow.

Vice Chair: GAY HART GAINES (A recess appointment by Bush)

Where to start? How about here:

She is currently a member of the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Madison Council of the Library of Congress. She has served as a board member of the Hudson Institute, the Best Friends Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, where she was also president of the Palm Beach Chapter for three years. She was a charter member of GOPAC, which she chaired from 1993-1997, and chairman of the National Review Institute from 1991-1993.

AEI, HF, and HI are the three most powerful, richest, and most virulent neoconservative think-tanks in the country. They’re where the likes of Newt, Dick Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, et al, make their home. They’re also the source of a good deal of conservative pundit welfare, paying large salaries and/or stratospheric speaking fees to – in addition to those named above – Ann Coulter, Norman Podhoretz, Charlie Krauthammer, and Mark Steyn, among many others. Gaines is a member of two and on the board of the third.

But that’s just for starters.

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The CPB Board: Why PBS Is Moving to the Right

Digby isn’t happy about PBS hiring Frank Luntz. Well, who is?

There must be something in the air. First, Matthews feels the need to give Ann Coulter a full hour to spew genocidal vomit and now I find that PBS has hired the notorious fraud Frank Luntz to analyze “public feedback” on the Democratic debate. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. He is one of the architects of the Republican Revolution and along with Newt Gingrich is the man most responsible for the distorted, propagandistic political discourse we spend our lives on the blogs trying to unravel. He has no business “interpreting” Democratic voters’ reaction to Democratic candidates based upon his political affiliation alone. But the fact that he has been completely discredited as a pollster and analyst by his own profession should make him radioactive for any respectable news organization. I can’t imagine what is wrong with PBS that they don’t know about this man.

But that’s not all.

Something odd is going on at PBS lately. They also invited that Coulter wannabe Melanie Morgan on Lehrer recently, apparently under the misapprehension that she was a sane spokeswoman of the right, and she proved to be a complete disaster. Now they have hired straight up right wing political operative Luntz to “interpret” the impressions of Democratic voters. Are they getting their bookers from the Heritage Foundation web site too?

It isn’t “lately”, Digs. It’s been going on for years. I’ve been writing about it for years.

It bubbled to the surface two years ago when Ken Tomlinson, the neocon camp-follower Bush named to the CPB Board, was discovered to have been deliberately politicizing PBS programming, accusing it of “liberal bias” and hiring conservative “consultants” (read: Hatchetmen) and lobbyists with CPB money but without bothering to tell his own Board what he was doing.

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