The Spectacle Blog

PBS, Bill Moyers, and AIG

By on 3.19.09 | 6:25PM

Is PBS still getting bonuses…or, as described here…."compensation" that exceeds a congressionally mandated pay cap? And what's up with Bill Moyers?

Way back there in something known as the Clinton era (his), a publication called Current came up with the story linked to above that says, at the time PBS'ers were getting exactly that. I’m unable to find s any follow-up here, but since Monsieurs Frank and Cuomo are demanding names of those taking bonuses from taxpayers, perhaps its time to revive the subject.

Should the first name on this list of inquiries be Bill Moyers? Repeated attempts to get the precise details of the financials between Moyers and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have been rebuffed for years. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard explored this situation in some depth back in 2002, eliciting this irritated quote from Moyers about his public funding:

When I asked Moyers if he sees any irony in the fact that he's a wealthy man owing in no small part to his long association with public television, the MVP of PBS told me that he's no different from any other public servant--fireman, policeman, or teacher. But when I reminded him that their salaries are matters of public record, he once again reverted to the status of private contractor.

 "I make the same disclosures any privately held company makes," he insisted. "I am an independent producer who has made a decent living, by choice in public television as opposed to commercial television. I'm not Enron."

Well, as of today, the hounds are loosed. In the world of Barney and Andy everyone has a right to know who gets public money of any kind and how much. So, what's up with PBS, NPR and its parent Corporation for Public Broadcasting? Are they the AIG of the media? Are they still ladling out monies above the caps? And isn't time for Bill Moyers to do the right thing like those scoundrels on Wall Street? If they take the bucks, we need the info or Andrew Cuomo will sue and Barney Frank will issue subpoenas. Go to it, gentlemen.

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