Carter and Anderson: a couple of liars

Posted in Central Texas, Commentary, Election 2006 at 2:34 am by dembones

Regarding the AP piece on KNCT’s censoring the November 3 episode of NOW, in which several lifelong Republicans pledge their support for Mary Beth Harrell’s campaign for Congress in Texas’ 31st district:

“We didn’t pull anything; it was never scheduled,” (Central Texas College chancellor James R.) Anderson said. “I’m not sure we’ve ever been aware the program was available.”

That is a lie. NOW is PBS’ weekly newsmagazine. This is the program that was developed by former LBJ press secretary Bill Moyers and for the past couple of years has been ably helmed by David Brancaccio. NOW is on KNCT’s programming schedule each week at the same time. The program appeared on the station’s own programming guide online until well after the program was to have aired. Dr. Anderson is lying to conceal the real reason the program was blacked out.

That Ellsworth agrees with us that this was a great piece is quite a surprise, given that Carter only allowed himself to be interviewed after initially declining the invitation, then reversing his decision once it became obvious that the program would be produced whether or not Carter participated.

“Both Carter and Anderson said they never discussed the program.” That is another lie. How many opportunities does John Carter have to appear on a nationally-televised program? Not many. Now on Thursday, the night before Carter’s big moment, he finds himself at the Metroplex Health System’s Gold Star Gala with none other than Dr. Anderson, whose campus owns the FCC license and whose staff operates KNCT — the very station on which Carter was to have appeared.

For Carter and Anderson to claim they never discussed it when they were in the same room the night before defies belief. Even if all Carter said was, “Hey, I’m going to be on your television station tomorrow night… cool, huh?”

No. They talked about it. And now they’re denying it. Why? Suppose it were because Anderson were a personal friend of Carter and wanted to try to help out, purely on his own volition, without being asked. Now, don’t you think Anderson would say, “Hey John, I’ve decided that program you’re appearing in tomorrow is causing our legal team some heartburn because they don’t give equal time to a 20-something Libertarian. I hate to ruin your big moment, but I’m going to have to pull the program!”

But that is probably not how it played out. This can’t be the case because PBS’ legal counsel vouched for it, and KNCT’s own attorney said he was never consulted prior to their decision to black out the program.

This leaves only one possible explanation. Carter asked Anderson to snuff out the broadcast. Carter had already attempted to prevent the program from airing by refusing to participate in it initially. When that didn’t work, he decided to ask Anderson to pull it. Maybe Anderson willingly agreed.

But that is not likely.

The entire program was about Fort Hood. How Fort Hood permeates the community. How it has sacrificed so mightily for Bush’s Iraq adventure. How staunchly it supports the troops. Anderson had to know that this was going to be a program of some interest, and pulling it would create a conspicuous absence. Saturday’s blowback is evidence of the great deal of disappointment felt by the Fort Hood area community over the censoring of this program. Anderson would have to know this was going to look bad.

That is why I think John Carter threatened Anderson. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Carter can steer federal dollars toward or away from CTC. Anderson was bullied into pulling the program, and now he is stuck with the aftermath. Anderson is stuck, forced to lie to cover up how he has been intimidated into silencing the media.

Three more days and this will be over. Voters can express their outrage over this administration’s bungling of Iraq, and the Republican party’s use of our military for their own political gain. Express your outrage over this administrations’ assault on our liberties and muzzling of the media by voting John Carter out of office. Our armed forces are stuck in this hell until the voters fire those responsible for creating this disaster. If you love our troops, you must vote for Mary Beth Harrell.

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