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Special Report Defending Kenneth Tomlinson: Not Such a Big Deal

Reported by Janie - August 31, 2006 -

During last night's (8/30) "Two Minutes of Hate" (AKA "Grapevine") segment on "Special Report", substitute host Jim Angle offered a very brief report on the latest of Republican scandals, that of Kenneth Tomlinson - chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. As with all other Republican scandals covered on "Special Report", it was relegated to a 30-second snippet, which gave only a brief outline of what Tomlinson is accused of, and left viewers with the impression that Tomlinson really did nothing wrong at all.

Under a banner reading "Trouble for Tomlinson?", Angle spun round and round:

"New allegations of wrongdoing against Kenneth Tomlinson, who heads the government's international broadcasting operations such as Voice of America.

The Washington Post reports a new State Department investigation found Tomlinson "improperly used his office, putting a friend on the payroll and running a 'horse-racing operation' with government resources," prompting several Democrats to call for his resignation. But no charges will be brought.

As it turns out, the friend he hired as a consultant had 35 years of experience with Voice of America, and Tomlinson says the report concluded his focus on his horses amounted to one e-mail a day and two-and-a-half minutes on the phone.

Comment: Only one-email a day! Only two-and-a-half minutes on the phone! That makes it A-OK!!

What Angle isn't mentioning is the rest of the story, since he is giving us Tomlinson's side of the story (note, he specifically states "Tomlinson says", without mentioning the report issued by the Office of the Inspector General). According to the State Department's findings:

I) Tomlinson hired a friend, "without the knowledge of other board members and other board staff." "Tomlinson signed invoices along with the Agency Representative to the Contracting Officer (ARCO) totaling $244.813.17, acknowledging ____ services were received and completed without ____ providing any written reports or supporting documentation to the ARCO that was required in the statement of work..."

II) "The investigation determined that Tomlinson used BBG resources in support of his horse racing operation."

III) "The investigation determined that during 2003 through 2005 Tomlinson requested compensation in excess of the 130 day annual maximum, contrary to USIBA of 1994, which states BBG board members shall not be regular full-time employees of the US Government, which in turn, in contrary to Tomlinson's SGE status."

IV) "The investigation determined that Tomlinson requested and received wage compensation from both the BBG and CPB for the same days worked on 14 occasions. However, the investigation could not substantiate that they were for the same hours worked on the same days."

V) "The investigation determined that Tomlinson directed BBG staff to work on matters unrelated to BBG that included CPB business and other personal matters."

VI) "The investigation determined that Tomlinson conducted CPB work while at the BBG and had billed the BBG for those hours. However, the investigation was unable to determine the full extent of hours of CPB related activities alleged."

Wow! That's an entirely different story than Angle is telling his viewers! It would have been appropriate to actually, you know, tell viewers what Tomlinson is actually charged with and what the State Department actually found! But not if you're a Republican on Fox!

Angle also stated "But no charges will be brought." According to the report, no criminal charges will be brought. The report states "...criminal investigation was not warranted. The allegation relating to the contractor is pending at the Civil Division."

Angle finished his "report" with a heart-warming fact about Tomlinson,

"Tomlinson named two of his racehorses, by the way, after Afghan leaders: one for President Hamid Karzai and another for guerilla warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud, who fought against the Taliban."

So he's a Patriot! There's no way a Republican with horses named after those fighting the war in Afghanistan could be guilty of a crime!

The entire segment was complete Republican propaganda from beginning to end.