The ex-chairman’s reply: ‘My actions were open, lawful,’ sincere in intent

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Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, former CPB chairman, responded to the CPB inspector general’s Nov. 15, 2005, report with this statement, which was published as an appendix to the report.

I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the Inspector General’s report. It was apparent early on that Inspector General Kenneth A. Konz would opt for politics over good judgment. Mr. Konz, in direct violation of his Code of Ethics, told Bloomberg News that his report would be critical of me six weeks before he released his report to the CPB Board. He obviously reached his conclusion prior to completing his investigation — neither a sequence I would have hoped for nor one that the public deserves.

Any suggestion by Mr. Konz that I violated my fiduciary duties, the Director’s Code of Ethics or relevant statutory provisions is malicious and irresponsible. All of my actions were open, lawful, and were taken after consulting and receiving advice from CPB’s General Counsel, its President or the CPB Board of Directors. Even the most cursory and objective examination of the evidence would have demonstrated this.

The Inspector General’s reliance on “Joining Together, Group Theory and Group Skills” by Johnson and Johnson to support his fiduciary duty charge, is a desperate device to link New Age rhetoric and 1960s-era encounter group ideology to essentially argue that the General Counsel was sufficiently oppressed by a patriarchal society that she could not render sound judgment that was the cornerstone of her job. This notion is reflective of the Inspector General’s audacioius and grasping approach to this matter as a whole.

My lawful and sincere objective from the outset in my role at CPB was to help bring balance and objectivity in public broadcasting. I am proud of all that I did to bring the Journal Editorial Report to public television. Public broadcasting should not be the domain of any particular ideology or party. The voices of America should be heard on public television — across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, the Inspector General’s pre-conceived and unjustified findings will only help to maintain the status quo and other reformers will be discouraged from seeking change. Regrettably, as a result, balance and objectivity will not come soon to elements of public broadcasting.

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