The Fine Art of Political Classification


How CPB chairman Ken Tomlinson and consultant Fred Mann went about investigating bias in public broadcasting, according to the Los Angeles Times:

Many interview subjects—including Republicans—were classified as liberal because they questioned White House policies….

In one report, [Mann] labeled former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) as opposed to the administration for his criticism that the Patriot Act violated civil liberties. Radio host and former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock was listed as "anti-Bush" for saying the military was underpaid. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was tagged "liberal" for an interview with Smiley in which he criticized White House policy in Iraq….

Half a dozen reporters drew scrutiny as well. Associated Press President Tom Curley was listed in a chart as "liberal/Democrat" and under "oppose administration" for discussing whether there was a need for more government openness…

Whole thing here. The Mann Report itself is here. For Reason's reactions to the CPB wars, go here, here, and here.


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  1. That’s about right isn’t it? Only liberals would oppose/criticize anything that the Bush administration is doing. I fail to see the news-worthyness here.

    Why do liberals like Bob Barr and Chuck Hagel hate America? Aren’t these the liberals Karl Rove was referring to?

    Damn Traitors!

  2. well shit. i’m used to at least the pretense that today’s conservatives and liberals are separated by what they believe, rather than who they support (or criticize).

  3. Well, this magazine’s going to be a lot different now that it’s run by liberals.

  4. Now the Reason staff are going to have to start wearing patchouli and shit. That sucks.

  5. I guess that proves the 99% of people who work at PBS or in their non-profit food chain are not liberals after all then.

  6. “I guess that proves the 99% of people who work at PBS or in their non-profit food chain are not liberals after all then.”

    That clearly isn’t the problem they’re concerned about.

    What this is about, is that they don’t like people who aren’t sockpuppets for the administration.

    They want more sockpuppets, not more conservatives.

    If NPR were “National Reason Radio” instead, and 100% non-liberal, the Rove administration would probably STILL complain about bias.

  7. Whatever you say, pinko.

  8. Accusations of liberal bias are awfully easy to bat around these days…and no one is safe.

    If anything should be obvious by now, it’s that just because a right winger with an agenda says you’re a liberal doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    When a loon like Tomlinson says it…well…that’s just one person with an agenda making accusations of bias. Where I come from that’s called the pot calling the kettle black.

    I start to wish some folks would find some critical thinking skills and learn to think for themselves.

  9. The only way to solve this issue is to call everyone liberals – Bush and Rove included.

  10. The trouble with PBS is that its stuff is too long. People like to get information quickly in five-minute clips. Also, when PBS does do cop shows, they’re always that Brit stuff where the cops hardly ever draw their guns and don’t do car chases. I mean, boring! It’s also too narrow. PBS has hardly done anything on Tom Cruise. CNN is pretty intelectual, but it’s not as boring as PBS. And don’t you miss the commericals? You need a break from the heavy stuff. And commericals are informative. If all you watched was PBS, you would never hear about McDonald’s new menu items.

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