WASHINGTON — Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and 52 of his fellow House Democrats sent a letter Friday to Corp. for Public Broadcasting chairman Kenneth Tomlinson saying he should resign.
Alleging Tomlinson has a “zeal to impose a political point of view on a nonpolitical institution,” the letter said the chairman had lost sight of his core mission and that, “for the sake of preserving this national treasure (of pubcasting), we urge you to resign.”
The letter claimed Tomlinson had influenced the hiring process for senior CPB positions to prefer candidates favored by the White House, and that he used lobbyists to block legislation that would have reduced the number of political appointees to the CPB board.
In a separate statement, Markey added, “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.”
Pubcasting advocates have been criticizing Tomlinson for political interference in pubcasting programming, and the CPB inspector general is looking into charges Tomlinson may have illegally used taxpayer funds to monitor programming for liberal bias.
Less than two weeks ago, other Democrats called for Tomlinson’s resignation. Tomlinson refused, saying he had done nothing wrong or inappropriate. By late Friday afternoon, CPB had not responded to a request for comment on this latest letter.