Thursday, November 19, 2009


Is this necessary?

Former press secretary to President George W. Bush Dana Perino was appointed as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Wednesday evening.

The board governs all government sponsored, non-military international broadcasting outlets, such as Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, and Alhurra. The BBG is a nine member, bipartisan panel.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged the Obama administration to appoint Perino.

Perino is currently a Chief Issues Counselor for the United States at Burson-Marsteller, an international public relations firm, and is a contributor to Fox News. ...

Yeah, I gather it's fairly common to name members of the opposite party to jobs like this -- but a member of the opposite party who actually attacks you in public?

October 21, 2009, 12:42PM

Former Press Secretary Dana Perino told Sean Hannity last night that what the Obama White House is doing to Fox News is something "like dictators do."

Full quote:

PERINO: Here's what I think. I think -- let's step back for a second. When you are the White House you don't just speak to the 16 reporters who are in the room. What you say at that podium really matters. What you say -- as the chief of staff or other members, the senior staff, matters to everybody, including emerging democracies around the world.

And what they see is what they see like dictators do, right? They go after illegitimate news organizations.


Former White House press secretary and current Fox News contributor Dana Perino has recently contrasted the Obama administration's criticism of Fox News with the Bush administration's treatment of MSNBC, saying, "I could have taken that tack, but I thought it was not the right thing to do and I think it's mostly because it's really unproductive, it feels un-American, and it's not inspiring." However, Perino did criticize NBC, MSNBC's parent network, during her time as press secretary, asserting that NBC had "intentionally" mischaracterized remarks made by President Bush....

Granted, the Obama administration is just making Perino one member of the governing board; the head will be Walter Isaacson, formerly of Time and CNN. But contrast this with the Bush years: W first appointed as chair of the BBG one Kenneth Tomlinson, a Rove crony and right-wing ideologue who attempted to politicize the joint, as he did the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which he also chaired:

Tomlinson has also focused on deposing staff that he considers to be Democratic sympathizers....

... Under his reign, longtime civil servants have found themselves replaced by Republican ideologues.

... in the Tomlinson era, VOA management has focused far more intently on burnishing the image of the Bush administration and the Republican Party....

Tomlinson was eventually replaced by the less ideological James Glassman, and then the chairmanship was left vacant (as were four seats on the board).

Mitch McConnell wanted Perino on the board? I suppose this could have been worse:

Under President Bush ... McConnell ... nominated the neoconservative writer Clifford May ... his confirmation was stalled.... Since Obama’s election, McConnell renominated May, as well as former Wisconsin Republican Party chair Rick Graber, but both were refused by the White House.

Still -- is Obama going to get anything in return for this from McConnell? Or any of Perino's other pals? Thewn what's the point?

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