Reading between the lines of Tomlinson's January resignation letter, it seems Tomlinson could not get the US Senate to confirm his reappointment--no doubt due to scandals swirling around him. Here's the BBG press release:
Broadcasting Board of Governors Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson has asked President Bush not to put his name in nomination for another term. Tomlinson said he serves at the pleasure of the President and plans to remain in office until his successor is confirmed.Glassman hosted a 2004 AEI conference, Selling America: How Well Does U.S. Government Broadcasting Work in the Middle East?, which may be related to his appointment as BBG topper. He said this:
In a letter to President Bush dated January 9, Tomlinson said he is proud of his record of service and “appreciated deeply your repeatedly submitting my name to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for reconfirmation to this position. However, I have concluded that it would be far more constructive to write a book about my experiences rather than to seek to continue government service.”
The BBG, in its earlier incarnations and this one, has done fine work. But Ambassador Djerejian's advisory group, of which I was a member, made two recommendations regarding broadcasting.IMHO, I do hope Glassman is better at selling America to the world than at predicting the Dow Jones industrial average--currently 12,290.90...
First, we urged that the BBG, like all other elements of public diplomacy, be "brought under the strategic direction" of the White House--through an office headed by a special counselor to the president with Cabinet rank. Today, BBG spends nearly as much money on public diplomacy as the State Department, yet it operates outside the broader policy agenda.
Second, we urged that the BBG, again like all other agencies that practice public diplomacy, set clear objectives that can be measured. The objective should not merely be to build audience, but to "move the needle"--to change attitudes toward the United States. Evidence of the success or failure of broadcasting entities to meet objectives needs to be publicly disseminated.
There should be no fear that journalistic integrity and credibility will be compromised if these recommendations are followed. The point is to set strategic goals, not to interfere with the way specific news or entertainment is broadcast.
Think of it this way: a broad international security strategy is set; then a public diplomacy strategy is set to help implement it. Then the BBG, as part of the public diplomacy apparatus, operates within that strategy.
As an example, it is our strong national interest is to promote democratic regimes in the Arab and Muslim world. That may be the main reason we are in Iraq. Public diplomacy should follow this same track, even--and, in fact, especially, if it means criticizing existing non-democratic regimes. Public diplomacy can often do that when official diplomacy cannot. We will know Al Hurra is succeeding, says an Egyptian born friend, when Sec. Powell is besieged with complaints from heads of government in the Arab world complaining of mistreatment.
As for the prison abuse scandals, public diplomacy should not merely show what Americans have done wrong and what we are trying to set right but should also highlight prison abuse throughout the Arab and Muslim world. It is not an isolated problem.
If I sound disappointed with the greeting the Djerejian report--and others like it--have received, I am. Yes, many of our enemies will never approve of our policies in the Arab and Muslim world, but many others, given a clear and forceful explanation, will. We need to get serious. That was our message. The best sign of seriousness would be establishing the office and the structure we suggest and to fund public diplomacy adequately. It would not be difficult.