Archive for November 17th, 2005

Uh, we win?

(Oops! I just realized that I’d forgotten to actually post this after saving it as a draft for two days.)

Hey all,

I’m Dexter, and I’m an angry, if somewhat tired, brown queer living in Vancouver, BC, fresh from 5 years in New York City and Washington, DC. I am honoured to rant alongside Jack.

As I was telling a friend of mine, it’s been hard for me to write coherently and push past the blockage that is built-up frustration and anger at many instances of uninterrogated white supremacy and just plain fool white people I’ve encountered in the past month. I suppose, then, that I am grateful that a very special white guy, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, is back in the news to provide me with some kind of focus.

Tomlinson is the former (as in, he got the boot two weeks ago, after his dealings were officially presented) chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and remains the current head of head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which apparently supervises all American government-broadcasting programs overseas (there was a great segment on him on “Democracy Now!” this morning). He’s also a big-time Republican who made it his business to eradicate so-called “liberal bias” at PBS, a plan of action consisting of, among other things, dishing out thousands and thousands of public broadcasting money to monitor shows (alas, not even Tavis Smiley was safe) suspected of “liberal bias.” And, according to the New York Times,

The report said he violated federal law by being heavily involved in getting more than $4 million for a program featuring the conservative editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal. And it said his decision to hire Republican consultants to defeat legislation violated contracting rules.

He’s also suspected of playing an inappropriately large role in installing the corporation’s new president, also a big-time Republican. Again from the New York Times:

The investigators found evidence that “political tests” were a major criteria used by Mr. Tomlinson in recruiting the corporation’s new president, Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and former senior State Department official.

There’s a happy ending to this story though, right? He got fired and publicly shamed, right?

Then why am I not feeling anything? I’ve been rooting against this guy for months, but frankly, I don’t see that this report is going to make much difference. Tomlinson’s still pushing the spectre of big, bad liberal bias all the way out the door, except, wait, he’s not all the way out the door and the Republicans still have control of PBS. For some time now he’s been a textbook example, a blatant and laughable example, of conservative-dominated media’s blustering (and rather meaningless, considering the distribution of power in mainstream media) tirades against so-called liberal media, but no one takes notice until some official dude rubberstamps our disapproval.

Or, better yet, some Republican does it.

I should be happy that the Senate’s increasing pressure on the White House to be more forthcoming with Iraq information right? Delaware Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., “senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee” is:

“For the first time…our Republican colleagues have joined Democrats in listing and insisting on a clear Iraqi strategy from this administration, a schedule to achieve it and real accountability.”

Gee, that’s not how Bill Frist sees it. He called approval of the Republican plan an “absolute repudiation” of Democrats’ efforts to pin down actual withdrawal dates.

Um, um, um. Senator Biden, if this is so great, then why does it feel again like the Republicans are taking lefty points, filing them down to little nubs, and then throwing them back at Democrats?

Oh well. Even if they have lost some of their sharpness, federal Dems could use those little nubs to replace some of the teeth that they’ve lost.