July 1, 2005- Rep. Markey, 52 Members of Congress Call for Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chair to Resign

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet released a letter today signed by 52 members of Congress calling for Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Chairman, Corporation for Public Broadcasting to resign. Mr. Tomlinson has come under recent criticism for his campaign to inject partisanship and conservative viewpoints into PBS programming.

Rep. Markey criticized Mr. Tomlinson for neglecting to defend the public broadcasting system against severe funding cuts in the Republican-controlled Congress. “Mr. Tomlinson has politicized the nation’s premier children’s television network and jeopardized the future of public broadcasting with his partisan crusade to ‘Republicanize’ the programs that have brought America Clifford the Big Red Dog, Big Bird, the American Experience, and National Public Radio. He should resign.” said Rep. Markey.

The letter to Mr. Tomlinson reads, “In your zeal to impose a political point of view on a nonpolitical institution, you have lost sight of your core mission to strengthen and protect this critical public media platform that does more every day for the education of children in this country than any other media outlet. For the sake of preserving this national treasure, we urge you to resign.”

The letter is the companion to a Senate letter calling on President Bush to fire the CPB Chairman. Addressed to Mr. Tomlinson, the letter spells out his inappropriate acts as Chairman:

* You have attempted to influence the hiring process to ensure the appointment of persons favored by the White House;
* You have hired lobbyists to try to block legislation that would have reduced the dominance of political appointees relative to appointees representing independent public television stations on the CPB board.
* You have validated your critics by nominating the former co-chair of the Republican National committee to the sensitive position of CPB President.

Representative Markey and other members have been critical of the Republican assault on the public broadcasting system. First Republicans launched a failed effort to slash funding for public broadcasting programming. Then the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced that Patricia S. Harrison, a former Republican Party co-chair, was named to the traditionally non-partisan position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

For more information Representative Markey’s work to preserve children’s television check out http://www.house.gov/markey/ a copy of the letter is attached.

iss_telecom_ltr050701.pdf Letter to Chairman Tomlinson , July 1, 2005

July 1, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Colin Crowell