Thursday, August 31, 2006

Novak vs. Gingrich

Robert D. Novak's latest article is interesting, in that he accuses Newt Gingrich of playing loose and fast with the facts. He'd seem to have the truth on his side.

Gingrich has argued that we need to do a lot more to confront North Korea and Iran. When asked for clarification he suggested that we broadcast more than 3 hours a week of pro American propaganda to North Korea, and that we start broadcasting more to Iran. Makes more sense than invading I suppose.

But apparently Gingrich doesn't have the facts entirely on his side.
That got the attention of Tomlinson, Reagan-era head of the Voice of America (VOA) who in 2002 was named by President George W. Bush to head the BBG (which oversees U.S. non-military international broadcasting). A conservative Republican who provoked the Left in his tenure (2003-05) as chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Tomlinson is proud of his record communicating with difficult places -- especially Iran. (A State Department investigation, released Tuesday, alleged that Tomlinson had improperly used his BBG office in a matter unrelated to Gingrich's complaints.)

In a "Dear Newt" letter July 17, Tomlinson explained to Gingrich that "we launched . . . live satellite television to Iran in 2003," quadrupling live TV feeds to four hours daily, for 12 daily TV hours in all. Radio Farda is broadcasting more than eight hours of news a day to Iran. He said VOA and Radio Free Asia are on the air three and one-half hours a day (not 90 minutes a week as claimed by Gingrich) with original programming, repeated to total 47 hours weekly.
Hmmmmm. Some people on the right are suggesting the time might be right for a Gingrich resurgence - but this sort of error doesn't lend credence to that idea.

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