CPB director accuses public broadcasting of ‘identity politics’ in latest op-ed

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CPB board member Howard Husock is once again attacking public broadcasting, this time for its approach to diversity in programming.

In a piece posted Wednesday on the Wall Street Journal’s site, the CPB Board member wrote that “it’s no secret that NPR and PBS lean liberal. Less appreciated is the extent to which [CPB] grants are organized around an idea central to the modern Democratic Party: identity politics.”

CPB

Husock

The full op-ed, headlined “Racial Division, Made Possible by Viewers Like You,” is available to WSJ subscribers only.

Husock also criticized The Talk, a WNET documentary about the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. The film “reduces the complexities of police minority relations to advice minority parents are said to give their children about how to behave around cops,” Husock wrote. “The program’s website advises that ‘one’s never too young to get woke about race.’”

“Identity politics also pervade radio,” he writes, citing NPR’s Code Switch, which reports on matters of race.

“Those who commission such programs are committed to a deeply embedded ideology,” the piece says. “They see American history, politics and culture predominantly through a prism of race and gender. Millions of Americans share this view, but millions more look at the country’s past and present in an entirely different way.”

He ends by recommending that “the criteria by which funds are distributed” for public media programs “should be reexamined.”

“Far better for public broadcasting, whether funded publicly or privately, to be a unifying force in America rather than a divisive one,” Husock concludes.

The op-ed is the latest in a series of essays in which Husock, a VP at the conservative Manhattan Institute, has criticized CPB and federal funding for public broadcasting. His Washington Post op-ed supporting the defunding of CPB drew a sharp response from fellow board members at an April meeting. Two board members also responded publicly to another of his op-eds in The Hill.

Husock was the lone “nay” vote at a CPB board meeting in June when members voted to submit CPB’s 2019 budget request to the Office of Management and Budget.