Sunday, June 24, 2007

Defund PBS and NPR

Officials at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) dropped Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center from its America at a Crossroads series. They give numerous false reasons for this. Simply, PBS is a leftist™ outfit that supports Islamism and want us to understand that we deserve the terrorism directed against us. Their support of Palestinian terrorism against Israel is well documented so I'll not address that just now.

During a hearing before the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the federal budgets of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Syracuse) asked the leaders of those two organizations about the suppression of Islam vs. Islamists. He wanted to know why the voices of moderate Muslims (who liberals™ presumable care a great deal about) were so hard to hear. Where is their voice of outrage at terrorist attacks?

You would think that supporting moderate Muslims concerned about what is happening to them would be something on which liberals and conservatives would be able to agree.

Sadly, such is not the case.

PBS at a Crossroads - Why is a film on moderate Islam being suppressed?
"The answer," Rep. Walsh explained to PBS President Paula Kerger and her CPB counterpart, Pat Harrison, "is that there’s a concerted and substantial effort on the part of radical Wahhabist Islam to silence these voices with physical intimidation [and] verbal intimidation. And [the filmmakers] document it in the United States, in Canada and around the world: Denmark, France."

Then Walsh threw down the gauntlet: "Based on what I’ve heard, there has been a longstanding and concerted effort to ensure that the American people, who paid for the production of this documentary, do not see it."

The responses to these remarks were, at best, inaccurate and misleading. Two exchanges are illustrative. At one point, PBS’s Kerger told Rep. Walsh that Islam vs. Islamists had "not been rejected for air. The film is still in development and production. The film that you have is not a finished film." Mr. Walsh replied, correctly, "I spoke with the producer. That film is finished."

Then CPB’s Harrison interjected: "The problem is…they have two hours of material. They must get it down to one." The congressman held up the finished, 52-minute show, saying, "I believe this…DVD is an hour long."
The barefaced mendacity of officials of the CPB and PBS is staggering. This is your tax dollars at work.
Most probably the objection was spurious, having much more to do with my political beliefs than with PBS guidelines. One of the "Crossroads" producers actually asked our colleague, accomplished filmmaker Martyn Burke, "Don’t you check into the politics of the people you work with?" Imagine the uproar if a conservative (say, former CPB chairman Ken Tomlinson) had asked such a question of a liberal director.
Mendacity and hypocrisy, that is the CPB and PBS.
It is no small irony that, in a $20 million, taxpayer-underwritten series like "Crossroads," whose very purpose is to expose PBS’s audience to a broader array of filmmakers’ stories and perspectives, our film is being black-balled by the Left, which largely decides what will be broadcast on publicly funded airwaves.
Tonight I watched (most of) Banned by PBS: Muslims Against Jihad. Of course the fact that this was broadcast by FOX News by itself sends liberals into blithering fits. None the less, it was an excellent production that actually serves to make one more sympathetic to what is happening to the regular people who are Muslims and who are suffering under the extremists as much, or more than, anybody else.

To see the pain of the face of a mother who can no longer recognize her son because of what he became under the influence of the jihadis is to understand the evil of the Islamists at the level where we live. Most of us will never witness a suicide bombing, but we can all see the suffering of a mother who sees that she has lost her son. Yet, the Leftist™ morons at PBS believe that this is not fair to the Islamists, and so will not show it.

PBS' big editorial complaint against Islam vs. Islamists is that it was not sympathetic to the Islamists, and therefore unbalanced and unfair to the Islamist extremists. Again, from Mr. Gaffney's piece;
Then there were the myriad efforts by PBS and its "coordinating entry station," Washington’s WETA, to force us to change the character, structure, and content of Islam vs. Islamists so as to make it less "unfair" to the Islamists. These changes are not to be confused with constructive editorial suggestions. We received a number of those, and repeatedly incorporated them into the finished film. Rather, they were incessant demands from PBS and WETA that the film be redone so as to tell at greater length the story of "conservative imams" and others who oppose the anti-Islamist Muslims we set out to profile. The stated object of this revision was to provide more "context" for the positions taken by the former group. [Yes, it is unfair not to give terrorists their "context"]
Banned by PBS: Muslims Against Jihad is an excellent program and reminds us that Muslims love their friends and family too. But, PBS doesn't want you to see that.

Officials of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting often point out that the money that they get from the Government is insignificant to their operations. They are bluffing. I say that we should call their bluff and defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting including PBS and NPR (National Public Radio). They do not deserve our tax dollars.

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