Taking Legislative Aim At Tomlinson

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Democrat House members Maurice Hinchey of New York and Diane Watson of California say they will introduce an amendment to a House Appropriations bill to block Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Ken Tomlinson from influencing noncom programming.

Saying Tomlinson is engaged in a "deliberate campaign to politicize public broadcasting, the pair want to "prohibit Tomlinson from exercising any direction, supervision, or control over the content or distribution of public broadcasting."

The amendment, to an appropriations bill being considered in the House starting Thursday, would also "reaffirm" the CPB's independence from outside interference. CPB oversees the distribution of federal funds to noncom TV and radio, but is not supposed to influence the program choices.

Tomlinson has said that some PBS and NPR programming has a liberal bias and needs to be balanced by conservative shows. He is also said to favor a former Republican National Committee co-chair, Patricia Harrison, to be CPB's new president.
The board was expected to vote on a new president Wednesday, but there was no word at press time, according to a CPB spokesman.

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