CPB director’s second op-ed against federal funds draws public rebuke from board leaders

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The leaders of CPB’s board are accusing a fellow director of “using half-truths and flawed facts” in his arguments against federal funding for public broadcasting.

CPB Chair Lori Gilbert and Vice Chair Bruce Ramer write in an opinion piece published Monday by The Hill that director Howard Husock “failed to research the facts on which he relied, and therefore failed in his duty of care as a member of our board.”

The two were responding to an opinion piece by Husock posted by The Hill Thursday. Husock, also a vice president with the libertarian Manhattan Institute, argued in his essay that without federal funding, “not only will both public radio and public broadcasting continue, they could even improve.” President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would provide $30 million to CPB, with the eventual goal of eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting.

Gilbert and Ramer write that Husock’s premise was “so untethered from reality and based on supporting arguments so factually flawed, one would think that they came from someone who had no knowledge whatsoever of public television, public radio, and the roles of the Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission.”

The Hill piece was Husock’s second in which he argued against federal funding for public media. Husock’s essay for the Washington Post in March bore the headline “Public broadcasting shouldn’t get a handout from taxpayers anymore.” Fellow CPB Board members upbraided Husock at their April meeting for penning the piece.