“The American public called PBS the most trusted source for news and public affairs programs and the most 'fair' source for news coverage.” - PBS, February 20, 2014 Last month, in response to Pando...
Following Pando’s reporting on John Arnold and WNET, CPB ombudsman Joel Kaplan agreed that “without actually being able to examine” the documents involved in PBS transactions, “there is no way to know” if PBS content is being unduly manipulated. Referring to WNET’s move to give Arnold back his money, Kaplan added: “I hope that the decision to return the money was not done to avoid disclosing the original contract between the (Arnold) foundation and WNET – that agreement still needs to be disclosed.”
There's just something about this blog post that may strike some readers (like me, CP News Curator, Greg) as a bit breathless and even a little hyperbolic.
Thanks to this post, I learned that the NewsHour has been produced for years by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions which has been a part of Liberty Media for 20 years. I learned that the Arnold Foundation, not "anti-pension mogul John Arnold" was going to fund a program about pensions. I learned that the money was returned once the alleged conflict of interest was brought to light.
In this post, Mr. Sirota, besides taking a few liberties of his own by using several of his own blog posts as sources, seems to be taking other liberties by implying that CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan's letter of Feb 15th is a broader indictment of PBS instead in what he termed "a scathing report demanding immediate reform."
He seems to be mostly upset that his desire to obtain private contracts is being denied.
I can't help but wonder what all the fuss was and is about.
BY DAVID SIROTA
ON MARCH 7, 2014
Last month, in response to Pando’s revelations that anti-pension mogul John Arnold secretly was financing PBS’s “Pension Peril” series, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting issued a scathing report demanding immediate reform. Criticizing “the lack of transparency” at PBS, CPB’s ombudsman Joel Kaplan declared that public broadcasting outlets must let the public access details of their financial dealings.
So how’s that new commitment to transparency going?
Here’s how: Once again, a PBS flagship station is in the process of negotiating a deal with a politically active mogul. Once again, the deal involves the NewsHour — the same iconic PBS program that stealthily promoted Arnold’s anti-pension programming. And once again, PBS is refusing to disclose the deal’s financial details to the public.
The major difference this time is that this new story of secrecy isn’t about who funds the journalism on the NewsHour. It is about who actually owns the NewsHour.