Elmo, PBS’ biggest star, may be red. Make no mistake, though: When it comes to electoral politics, the Public Broadcasting Service is as blue as Cookie Monster.
A new document found in the WikiLeaks emails revealed that Clinton campaign operatives felt confident enough to order PBS around in terms of when to publish a story favorable to them.
According to the email chain, the story had to do with Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s about-face on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal involving numerous countries in both Asia and the Americas.
Hillary had concocted the reversal last October, after major rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was making up significant ground on TPP-related fears.
“I’m continuing to learn about the details of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, including looking hard at what’s in there to crack down on currency manipulation, which kills American jobs, and to make sure we’re not putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers. But based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement,” the Clinton statement said.
“As I have said many times, we need to be sure that new trade deals meet clear tests: They have to create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security.”
Clinton, of course, had helped shepherd TPP during her time at the State Department. This was neither here nor there, though. As the statement started going out to press outlets, Clinton campaign director of communications Jennifer Palmieri — she of the anti-Catholic WikiLeaks tirade — said that they would tell the Public Broadcasting Service when to run the story.
“I told PBS to hold till 345pm and that we would send the statement to our travelers after they put the news out (we should give them 15 minutes of breathing space),” Palmieri wrote. “That work, Nick? We can move up PBS’ time if need be.”
In other words, PBS’ time to report the story was entirely dependent on whenever Hillary Clinton’s people wanted it run.
It isn’t just conservatives who ought to be peeved about this one. Lest we forget, Hillary’s most foreboding opponent when this story went out was Sen. Bernie Sanders. Aside from seemingly ubiquitous fundraising drives that apparently appeal to people who really like tote bags or the pseudoreligious claptrap of “Dr.” Wayne Dyer, PBS’ major source of funding is — you guessed it — your tax dollars.
While Bernie bros may be a bit more psyched about paying the federal government’s levees for PBS than readers of this site generally are, I’m pretty certain they’re also probably unhappy with a taxpayer-funded institution being used as a de facto extension of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Say what you will about Donald Trump’s campaign and its close relationship with Breitbart — and if it can be said, the mainstream media doth say it — that is not a taxpayer-funded institution. Far from it. PBS is, and the fact that we may know them best through anthropomorphized dinosaurs and aardvarks doesn’t excuse the sort of obsequious relationship between their news department and the Clinton campaign implied in Palmieri’s email.
So, be on notice, PBS: Next year, this viewer is just going to get his tote bag from the supermarket. And even sooner than that, he’s also going to be voting for a candidate who makes sure you don’t get any more of my money through taxes, either.
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