Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) spoke on the Senate floor Monday against the politicizing of noncommercial broadcasting and the cutting of its budget.
Reading from what he said was raw data from a consultant hired by Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Ken Tomlinson to evaluate bias in the Now show when it was still hosted by Bill Moyers, Dorgan ticked off stories that had been labeled "anti-Bush," "anti-DeLay" (embattled House Speaker Tom DeLay) and "anti-corporation."
"That is not the prism through which we evaluate whether a program makes sense," Dorgan told his colleagues.
The CPB is meeting in Washington Monday and Tuesday, and Dorgan advised it not to name former Republican National Committee Chairman Patricia Harrison as president.
She has been considered a top Tomlinson candidate, but her Republican party credentials have triggered a visceral reaction from activist groups like Free Press, Common Cause, and the Center for Digital Democracy, who see it as the latest in a series of moves to make the noncom service toe the administration line.
Dorgan also called an "ominous sign" the House Appropriations Committee vote last week to cut funding to various noncommercial programs, including kids shows, networking costs and the switch to digital.