Magazine article Insight on the News

PBS Wonders What's in a Name

Magazine article Insight on the News

PBS Wonders What's in a Name

Article excerpt

Big Bird has found new material to line his nest: cold cash from left-wing benefactors.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, or CPB, faced congressional scrutiny of its fund-raising practices in mid-July as a bill (HR2384) to reauthorize its federal funding was debated before the House Commerce subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The controversy began when the Boston Globe reported recently that a 4-year-old Massachusetts boy had received a fired-raising letter from the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, after his mother had sent a $40 check to a Boston Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, affiliate in the child's name. The DNC obtained the boy's name by swapping fund-raising lists with the affiliate.

Testifying before the subcommittee, CPB chief Robert Coonrod said swapping such donor lists is wrong but not illegal. Coonrod told members of the subcommittee that he is informing all public radio and TV stations across the country to stop trading lists. PBS President Ervin Duggan called the donor-swapping "embarrassing and downright stupid. …

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