Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, said she would “look into” pulling state funding from PBS if elected. This all stems from a recent incident involving her campaign for the state’s highest office.
Lake was to be interviewed on Arizona PBS for a program in partnership with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CEC). The original proposal was for a formal debate, but her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, once again refused a face-to-face meeting.
That was the goal of the CEC, but its attempts to proceed with the time-honored tradition of candidates appearing together in an unscripted setting were thwarted by the Hobbs campaign.
It was revealed that the PBS station booked a different interview with Hobbs next week that was not coordinated with the CEC. That group obviously felt snubbed by the move and yanked their partnership from the event with Lake.
They said it is postponed to an undetermined later date.
The commission declared they were “surprised” by the PBS move and called it “disappointing.”
Public Broadcasting in Arizona is part of Arizona State University and, like its cohorts nationwide, receives support from subscriptions, memberships and partnerships. However, they also get funding from the university, which means taxpayer dollars.
Lake told an interviewer that Arizona PBS is apparently “an arm of the Democratic Party” and that the funding situation needs to be looked into. It is biased, she asserted, as opposed to bipartisan.
The Republican candidate added that Hobbs’ refusal to even share the stage should preclude her from PBS airtime, but it has not.
What that does, she declared, is prove that the public broadcasting station supports Hobbs’ candidacy and will proceed to give her time on this stage.
It is no secret that PBS has long been a bastion of partisan reporting and advocacy, and what Lake proposes is hardly new. But for the partially taxpayer-funded station to so blatantly favor her opponent is solid ground for reviewing their funding, which is a given if the Republican prevails.