Sunday, June 19, 2005

PBS Official Had Aide Send Data to White House

Official Had Aide Send Data to White House
NY Times
Published: June 18, 2005

WASHINGTON, June 17 - E-mail messages obtained by investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting show that its chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, extensively consulted a White House official shortly before she joined the corporation about creating an ombudsman's office to monitor the balance and objectivity of public television and radio programs.
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Arts & Leisure (June 19, 2005)

Mr. Tomlinson said in an interview three months ago that he did not think he had instructed a subordinate to send material on the ombudsman project to Mary C. Andrews at her White House office in her final days as director of global communications, a political appointment.

But the e-mail messages show that a month before the interview, he directed Kathleen Cox, then president of the corporation, to send material to Ms. Andrews at her White House e-mail address. They show that Ms. Andrews worked on a variety of ombudsman issues before joining the corporation, while still on the White House payroll. And they show that the White House instructed the corporation on Ms. Andrews's job title in her new post.

A senior corporation executive who is concerned about its direction under Mr. Tomlinson provided copies of the e-mail messages to The New York Times. Fearing retribution, the executive insisted on anonymity as a condition for providing the copies.

The e-mail messages are part of the evidence being collected in a broad inquiry by the inspector general of the corporation into whether Mr. Tomlinson violated any rules that require that the corporation act as a buffer between politics and programming....