Official Had Aide Send Data to White House

In news that will surprise nobody, and their committe, a Bush appointee lied ....

Official Had Aide Send Data to White House:

E-mail messages show that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's chairman consulted a White House official shortly before she joined the corporation.

E-mail messages obtained by investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting show that its chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, extensively consulted a White House official shortly before she joined the corporation about creating an ombudsman's office to monitor the balance and objectivity of public television and radio programs.
Mr. Tomlinson said in an interview three months ago that he did not think he had instructed a subordinate to send material on the ombudsman project to Mary C. Andrews at her White House office in her final days as director of global communications, a political appointment.

But the e-mail messages show that a month before the interview, he directed Kathleen Cox, then president of the corporation, to send material to Ms. Andrews at her White House e-mail address. They show that Ms. Andrews worked on a variety of ombudsman issues before joining the corporation, while still on the White House payroll. And they show that the White House instructed the corporation on Ms. Andrews's job title in her new post.

A senior corporation executive who is concerned about its direction under Mr. Tomlinson provided copies of the e-mail messages to The New York Times. Fearing retribution, the executive insisted on anonymity as a condition for providing the copies.
The e-mail messages are part of the evidence being collected in a broad inquiry by the inspector general of the corporation into whether Mr. Tomlinson violated any rules that require that the corporation act as a buffer between politics and programming.
Investigators are examining the role played by the White House in the creation of the ombudsman's office at the corporation, an office Mr. Tomlinson said he advanced as part of a broader effort to ensure balance and objectivity in programming. Executives in public television and radio have said his actions threatened their editorial independence.

Under investigation are $14,170 in contracts signed by Mr. Tomlinson with an Indiana man who monitored the political leanings of the guests on “Now” when Bill Moyers was its host. And the investigators are looking at $15,000 in payments to two Republican lobbyists last year at the direction of Mr. Tomlinson and his Republican predecessor, who remains a board member.

The White House is petrified of Bill Moyers apparently, and the newsmagazine he founded, Now.


In a little-noticed speech on the floor of the Senate this week, Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, said that in response to his request for the reports on the “Now” program, Mr. Tomlinson provided him with the raw data from reports. Mr. Dorgan said that Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, was classified in the data as a “liberal” for an appearance on a segment of a show that questioned the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq. Mr. Hagel is considered a mainstream conservative with a maverick streak and a willingness to criticize the White House. Another segment about financial waste at the Pentagon was classified as “anti-Defense,” Mr. Dorgan said. He criticized Mr. Tomlinson for spending taxpayer money for studies to examine programs “to see if something is being said that might be critical about a president or Congress.” On Friday, Mr. Dorgan and two Democratic colleagues, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, sent Mr. Tomlinson a letter urging him to postpone his plans to urge the board to appoint Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, to be the corporation's next president. Ms. Cox resigned in April after her contract was not renewed. “Press reports have noted that you requested a review of the program 'Now With Bill Moyers,' made payments to Republican lobbyists, and did not disclose these actions to the board of the CPB,” the letter said. “We are greatly troubled by these allegations, and if they prove true, we believe your conduct as chairman of the board has been highly inappropriate.”

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on June 18, 2005 10:13 AM.

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