Keep MPT out of campaign ads

September 21, 2010

Thanks to The Sun's Annie Linskey her article ("Maryland Public TV wants no part of O'Malley campaign ad," Sept. 21) correcting the error of a campaign ad.

This is the messy season when Maryland citizens are subjected to exaggerations and errors in political advertising. Such an error was made in a recent ad by Gov. Martin O'Malley when it took a totally unrelated discussion by respected Maryland Public Television news host Jeff Salkin with former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and twisted that discussion into an anti-Ehrlich ad.

I have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Public Television Foundation; this private foundation board is independently selected on nonpartisan basis. In that context, a political campaign has no right to place an objective and respected public television station into an inappropriate and inaccurate position. MPT does not engage in, nor has it ever taken positions on, political campaigns. Its funding comes from both government and private contributions. As a participant in several "pledge night" events, I take pride in the reputation of Maryland Public Television and its objectivity and the highly credible work of Mr. Salkin.

All we can do is hope that the low standard of that political ad is kept at a minimum and that the information provided in Ms. Linskey's article served to emphasize the truth a matter that concerns thoughtful citizens.

George Wills, Baltimore

The writer is a member of the Maryland Public Television Foundation board of directors.

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