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CPB Nominees Praise Public Broadcasting

CPB Nominee and former Senator David Pryor told the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday that he has been reading up on the mission of public broadcasting. His conclusion was that it is a "truly great American adventure" that has made America "a better place."

During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Pryor praised the contributions of noncommercial stations, saying citizens have established a bond with their favorite public broadcasting programs.

He said the common themes in public broadcasting are fairness, objectivity, tolerance, knowledge, education, balance, perspective, and entertainment. He called them the hallmarks of a service that is the "great fabric of the American landscape."

Pryor said he brings "no agenda," or much broadcast expertise. That was a reference to criticisms of the board's politicization under former Chairman Ken Tomlinson.

Pryor said he does bring a commitment to the corporation and the excellence it is trying to achieve.

The other CPB nominee, magazine publisher and board member of KQED San Francisco, Chris Boskin, also praised the service and said she was committed to furthering its mission.

Originally, a third CPB nominee, Warren Bell, was to get committee vetting. His nomination was taken off the agenda late Wednesday after some Democrats registered complaints.

Bell is an outspoken conservative TV writer and producer--According to Jim, Coach, Ellen--whose writings,and comments, including reportedly that he would like to dismantle public TV, concerned the public broadcasting community.

His nomination has not been withdrawn by the White House, but it is a longshot for consideration before the Senate exits next week.