Question: Who wrote the following passage?
“I have met President Bush twice. I have no powerful political connections–both times were the result of sizable checks written by me to support his campaign. Both times I was one of several hundred, if not thousand, people he met that day. Both times he said the same thing to me: ‘I’m honored’…. The world’s most powerful man was honored to meet me. Actually, just about everything you need to know about George W. Bush is there in that sentence–humble, economical, old-fashioned and simple in a way that irritates those who are irritated by things that are old-fashioned and simple…. And the thing is, he really means it…. Doubtless one of the things that makes him a great President is his ability to say, ‘I’m honored’ 800 times a day, and invest it with real emotion every time.”
Answer: If you guessed Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, you’re wrong. Warren Bell, a TV writer and producer and ardent conservative, wrote these lines in a column posted last year on National Review Online. And he wasn’t kidding.
Up until now, Bell has been known for his work on situation comedies. But if he is confirmed by the US Senate, Bell will be able to burnish that résumé a bit: He’ll become a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s board of directors.
President Bush named three individuals to fill empty slots on the board of CPB, which funnels federal money to public radio and television and which was devised to serve as a “heat shield” protecting public broadcasting from political pressures. The nominations have not yet formally been sent to the Senate Commerce Committee. But Bell’s nomination hearing could happen as soon as next week.
In the horse-trading that accompanies nominations to various boards and for judicial slots, it is unusual for these hearings to be anything but routine. But Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a member of the committee, has raised questions about Bell’s qualifications. And Common Cause, where I work, has asked its activists to lobby Commerce Committee members and ask them to oppose Bell’s nomination.
The other two CPB nominees seem quite suitable for the job. David Pryor, chosen to fill a “Democratic” slot on the board, is a former US Senator and Governor of Arkansas who has been a professor of political science at Harvard University. Chris Boskin, a successful publishing executive, serves on the board of KQED-FM/TV in San Francisco, and is active in many philanthropic causes. She also is the wife of Michael Boskin, who served as head of the Council of Economic Advisors under former President George H.W. Bush.