Political Pressures on PBS, from Left and Right

On May 10, Ken Burns and PBS announced that Burns would re-cut parts of his 14-and-a-half-hour documentary on World War II to include the involvement and contributions of Latinos and Native Americans.

The agreement came after Hispanic activist groups threatened to pressure Burns' and PBS' funders.

Much was made of the effort of former Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson to pressure public broadcasters to address complaints of exclusion from conservatives. Tomlinson was accused of improperly meddling in editorial matters to advance a political agenda.

The two cases have led some to wonder how the circumstances of Burns' situation differ from those of Tomlinson's.

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