The New York Times put the Doug Bandow story on the front page on Dec. 23, but back in 1993, they, too, were abusing PBS with a private agenda. PBS welcomed the end of the Reagan-Bush era with a documentary titled "James Reston: The Man Millions Read," another forum for cliched liberal attacks on conservative politicians. The program lionized Reston, the veteran Times reporter and columnist, for his role as a Washington power broker, and featured only Reston and a few of his Times colleagues. Why? Because the show was produced and funded by The New York Times. At the time, public-broadcasting analyst Laurence Jarvik noted that PBS violated its own underwriting guidelines, which forbid underwriters "having a direct and immediate interest in the content of a program."
There are other little cozy arrangements that no one seems to notice. When Time magazine named Bill and Melinda Gates (and rock star Bono) as their Persons of the Year, deep in the story, Time admitted the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation "was a major sponsor of the Time Global Health Summit, held in New York City in November." A Time press release before the summit claimed the Gates group was "the" major supporter, not merely "a" major supporter.
Gates not only funded the conference but also was hailed as a global philanthropic hero on the summit's "keynote panel." Time managing editor James Kelly paired him with another liberal hero, Bill Clinton, who didn't stop oozing over how ridiculously "modest" Bill Gates was and how "thrilled" he was over how "well-organized" the Gates Foundation was, and how Gates and his wife were "going all over Hell's half-acre" to help the poor.
Doesn't that fawning event and the Time "Person of the Year" honors look like a big thank-you card to the Gates Foundation for their financial support? Nobody who fulminates against Doug Bandow or Armstrong Williams has been heard from on Time magazine's back-scratching payoffs.
I'm sure Time magazine would argue that they organized a Global Health Summit because it fit with their humanitarian beliefs. But if Williams and Bandow are to be condemned because the perception of their financial intake corrupted an ideological cause, the same can, and should, be said of Time magazine and all other liberal entities participating in similar questionable pay-for-play monetary relationships.