"Just Tell Them...

I have worked 40 years to make the Women's Suffrage platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon."

Susan B. Anthony

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Public TV Not So "Public" Anymore: PBS Loses It's Way

As reported by "Fairness in Reporting."

From the article:

"public television" features guestlists strongly dominated by white, male and elite sources, who are far more likely to represent corporations and war makers than environmentalists or peace advocates. And both funding and ownership of these shows is increasingly corporate, further eroding the distinction between "public" and corporate television. There is precious little "public" left in "public television."

Add this little revelation to the fact that Gwen Ifill has jumped into the fray, criticizing Sarah Palin for *knowing* that the Boston Tea Party happened in 1773.

I sit here shaking my head. Because I was once a HUGE fan of PBS. In the 80's and 90s I relied heavily on McNeil-Lehrer and McLaughlin, to keep me up to date on what was happening in Washington. My kids literally cut their teeth watching these programs every Friday evening. Then my husband and I would talk to them about the issues. We took them to meet Mort Kondracke "in person" once. (Have his autograph to prove it.) We adored Eleanor Clift. Admired them all. Told the kids public journalism was important. Noble, even. Warned them about the dangers inherent in relying on commercial reporting.

In 2008 I *tried* to go back to PBS. For old times sake, I guess. But, I was gravely disappointed. Ifill was everywhere with her obvious Obama swooning. Eleanor (bless her heart) even became an Obama mouthpiece after the DNC gave Hillary's delegates to him. I was aghast when the McCain camp decided that Ifill could moderate the debate between Palin and Biden. (Gwen did her party bosses proud, too. And that is when I swore off PBS "news.")

What has happened to independent journalism in this country?

Oh, and... why the heck does WAPO have to caution it's "journalists" not to bicker with their readers on Twitter? Shouldn't they know that already? Did they skip college or something?? (Disclaimer: Mr. Greenslade draws the wrong conclusion here, IMO. But this is the only reference I can find to the WAPO warning.)


  1. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Excellent post, Syd! Tweeting you now!

  2. Thanks Anna Bella. Of course, I may not have found the first link without your help. That confirmed my worst fear about objective journalism in the U.S.

    It is dead.

    So... now what do we tell our grandkids?

  3. yttik8:27 PM

    The loss of PBS really is sad. I noticed them becoming more and more corporate and at the same time becoming more and more biased in their news and commentary. It got to the point where I just couldn't stand it anymore so I stopped watching.

    We have local public TV here and if you want to see what real freedom of the press and media looks like, yikes! LOL, we have everything from the extreme left, the extreme right, gay and lesbian discussion groups, sword swallowers, yoga, and strange religious cults. I'm laughing because it's a train wreck and we watch it in horror sometimes, but it provides a really valuable example of what genuine diversity looks like. PBS is now all one flavor.

  4. Guess we can now conclude that National "Public" Radio ain't so public anymore, either: