WASHINGTON DC – Accuracy in Media (AIM) editor Cliff Kincaid has urged Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to open an immediate investigation into how public broadcasting engaged in illegal lobbying against the proposed $100 million cut in federal funding of public TV and radio.
Mr. Kincaid cited 31 USC, Section 1352, which prohibits the use of federal funds to engage in lobbying activities.
“The law is clear,” Mr. Kincaid said. “It says that you may not use federal funds to influence or attempt to influence any member of the Executive or Legislative branches of government for the purpose of securing a grant or contract. But federally-funded public broadcasting succeeded in scaring Congress into thinking that Big Bird and Clifford the Big Red Dog were at risk because of the proposed cut.”
As a result, the House voted 284 to 140 to add back $100 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s budget that had been cut by a House committee. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) CEO Pat Mitchell boasted that the House vote was the result of the “unprecedented mobilization” of PBS supporters.
On the web site of Maryland Public Television (MPT), people were told to “Save Federal Funding for Public Television” and “Call Congress today.” They were led to believe that shows like Sesame Street, NOVA and Antiques Road Show would go off the air if Congress cut the public broadcasting budget.
“The liberal elites will stop at nothing ? even the law — to save their $400 million a year taxpayer subsidy,” Mr. Kincaid said.
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.