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PBS: crosshaired?
May 2, 2005 4:09 AM   Subscribe

PBS: crosshaired? NYTimes link. Previously, related. Hmm. No mention of David Brooks!
posted by yoga (26 comments total)

 
The picture at the top of the NYT article reminds me a little of Stryker from X-Men 2, who, if I remember rightly, was a sleazy public official with a hidden agenda.
posted by kersplunk at 4:49 AM on May 2, 2005


'Nother day, 'nother bogeymeme.
posted by RavinDave at 5:07 AM on May 2, 2005


I for one am deeply sick of the ingrained hard left views continually expressed on Nightly Business Report.
posted by sien at 5:14 AM on May 2, 2005


Thank god someone will finally curb the out-of-control liberalism of Tucker Carlson!
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on May 2, 2005


Perhaps now the close relationship between Gwen Ifill and Condi Rice can be made public, thanks be to dios!
posted by nofundy at 5:46 AM on May 2, 2005


my little one loves all the pbs kids programs (arthur, dragontales, caillou, etc.) and i noticed a few weeks back that all of those shows have altered their Dept. of Education grant shoutout to include the icon and a specific mention of No Child Left Behind.

substantive critique of NCLB aside, it seemed strange to me that a grant from a federal agency would be trademarked with a piece of partisan legislation. did lbj's administration require any mention of any of its anti-poverty legislation to be phrased "brought to you by a Great Society grant from the dept. of health and human services"? not trying to be snarky but it does seem a little off to me.
posted by jmccw at 5:52 AM on May 2, 2005


Cookies are a sometimes food.
posted by swift at 6:25 AM on May 2, 2005


This episode brought to you by Kansas, Alabama, and the Orwell Foundation for Public Broadcasting.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:02 AM on May 2, 2005


Give it a couple of years and PBS will be just as unwatchable as the rest of American television. Good thing I get BBC and Euronews. Soon enough there'll be no reason left to maintain an interest in the US.
posted by clevershark at 7:04 AM on May 2, 2005


Now we see why Moyers quit, and why his last "Now" broadcast was about the conservative takeover of the media.
posted by fungible at 7:36 AM on May 2, 2005


I think rather than trying to provide balance within any given show, PBS would better serve journalism and the public by putting on some shows featuring conservative viewpoints. If they were done as responsibly as the current shows that would be great. The problem with places like Fox is not just their one sided conservatism, it is the us versus them mentality that pervades everything. They are not so much about providing a conservative point of view as they are winning a war for the hearts and minds of the voters. It's not about the information or policies, but merely one more avenue of bare knuckle politics. Air America is the same thing on the flip side of the issues. Even the most liberal PBS shows like Frontline tend to focus on the problem and solutions, not on vilifying the opposition. Shows with a conservative eye which approached subjects similarly would be welcome by me and would go a long way towards addressing the essentially valid criticism of liberal leanings at PBS.
posted by caddis at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2005


Caddis, at first that seems terribly reasonable, but at second glance I'm not sure it is. We live in a country where the conservative viewpoint is so deeply ingrained that "liberal" is an insult in all but a few places. One mostly liberal oasis might be fairer in terms of overall cultural balance.

And really, if conservatives really wanted an end to the "them v. us" mentality, they'd have it by now.
posted by dame at 8:05 AM on May 2, 2005


And really, if conservatives really wanted an end to the "them v. us" mentality, they'd have it by now.
A quick glance at any MeFi political thread makes this seem highly unlikely...
posted by Sangermaine at 8:13 AM on May 2, 2005


However, you can not continue to enjoy this liberal oasis funded by taxpayer dollars when conservatives control those dollars. PBS should serve all interests.
posted by caddis at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2005


I think this really goes to show how effective an extended propaganda campaign can be.

What phrase have we been hearing for about the last 10 years? "Liberal Bias Media". It's to the point where it has been repeated so often it is accepted as fact.

Yet this campaign isn't being waged to make the media more neutral. No, it's being done to excuse conservative bias, or to make it easier for conservatives to conveniently discredit the media.

Don't like a news story that puts conservatives in a bad light? Then simply say something like this (and make sure you say it in your best Rush Limbaugh voice...):

"The liberally biased New York Times reported ..."

And make sure you throw in some cracks about "elite academics" while you're at it.

Bingo. The story must be bogus since we all know the NY Times is a liberal rag, right? Even if the article is 100% factual, well, they must have simply skipped reporting the same facts about liberals.

This serves as a convenient way to simply end any debate. Instead of responding with facts, respond with ridicule. It makes the debate SO much easier. Just blame the liberals.

I would go so far to say that the media is a now victim of bias. In the same way that people take an occurrence of a minority using welfare to somehow prove that all minorities use welfare, now people take a single instance of an article with a liberal slant to prove that all media is slanted to the left.

Of course, neither is true. The media publishes thousands of articles every day, but we've all been trained by the conservative think tanks to look hard for that liberal bias.

What disturbs me even more is that there is substantial evidence that the Republican White House is producing its own news stories, paying off reporters to write columns showing their programs in a favorable light -- in other words, state-produced propaganda.

Yet the fact that more newspaper writers vote Democrat is somehow more shocking than this?
posted by RalphSlate at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2005


However, you can not continue to enjoy this liberal oasis funded by taxpayer dollars

have you ever even watched PBS?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:34 AM on May 2, 2005


caddis, please demonstrate with a few examples the liberal bias on PBS.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:37 AM on May 2, 2005


caddis: Even the most liberal PBS shows like Frontline tend to focus on the problem and solutions, not on vilifying the opposition.

But by focusing on solutions, the shows almost automatically assume that fixing the problem is government's responsibility. I don't know whether this counts as "liberal bias," but it is "statist bias."
posted by Kwantsar at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2005


Oh, statist bias. Well, I have to say, considering that 99% of poltical "solutions" (Republican war criminals and Democrat fools) these days involve dumping costs and responsibilities on the taxpayers and the taxpayers' children, PBS is only acting in accord with the (extremely) dominant paradigm. They're no more biased in that regard than any other large American outfit.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:07 AM on May 2, 2005


We are a nation of dumb ignorant fuckers. But I love Bargain Hunters. And Sesame Street. And why hasn't anyone strangled Tucker Carlson in his sleep yet?
posted by bardic at 10:17 AM on May 2, 2005


But by focusing on solutions, the shows almost automatically assume that fixing the problem is government's responsibility. I don't know whether this counts as "liberal bias," but it is "statist bias."

Whereas Fox News focuses exclusively on "fixing" dictatorships we prop up by invading and stealing their natural resources. I guess Fox management figures that spreading "democracy" is the government's responsibility, also. I don't know whether this counts as "statist bias", but it is "patriotic", so the GOP doesn't bother to stick its nose in, in order to turn it into an outlet for sycophantic propaganda.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:44 AM on May 2, 2005


This is the problem with tax-payer funding. Someone, somewhere, is going to object.

PBS will never satisfy everyone as being unbiased, it's just not possible. The solution, of course, is to drop government funding entirely. We don't need a federally funded propaganda weapon that fall into the hands of anyone of any political stripe. If you want to get a message out to the people, you need to pay for it yourself.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2005


The "liberal oasis" term was not mine; it came from dame's comment. I do not see them as being that liberal. However, some rather prominent and liberal fare on PBS includes Frontline and NOW. Tucker isn't smart enough to balance out these shows, even with NOW being gone. Beside, it is just conservative political spin, not real investigative journalism like Frontline. We do not need any more shows with biased talking heads; cable fills that bill all too well. If it is to be talking heads then let it be neutral, like the Newshour (conservatives will charge the Newshour with liberal bias but they are wrong). Could PBS give some time to conservative muckrakers instead? Does such an animal exist?
posted by caddis at 11:09 AM on May 2, 2005


However, some rather prominent and liberal fare on PBS includes Frontline and NOW.
caddis -- tell us. How can a show that has run indepth investigations of Clinton's turning the White House into a glorified B&B, ran their own segment covering Whitewater and looked deeply into Clinton's pathetic inaction during the Rwanda genocide be biased toward him or the political party that he represents?

I wouldn't take any of the recent Frontline episodes about Rove, Rumsfeld or Bush's evangelical motives as a sign of liberal bias. I see that as a sign of journalists investigating and presenting the truth about the people in charge -- regardless of political affiliation. That's journalists doing their frickin' job, and not being partisan hacks.
posted by bl1nk at 3:13 PM on May 2, 2005


While I rarely agree with their bottom line, I really do like Frontline -- they really go out and get their story and present it on its own terms, with very little of the "I surveyed my Upper West Side neighbors and my editor surveyed his Montclair neighbors" elite-toadying and ignorance-by-consensus that afflicts the New York Times.

What I'd like to see, in addition to Frontline, would be if the CPB commissioned Heritage, Cato, AEI, Hoover, and the Federalists to put together a conservative equivalent of Frontline. And I'm with Caddis 100% that the last thing we need, anywhere, is more shouting heads.
posted by MattD at 4:49 PM on May 2, 2005


not to derail, but since it came up.
good ol' liberal media.

and, yeah, pbs could be a little more even-handed, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy conservatives without getting into religious matters (and by religion, i mean the christian right), and no one religion should hold sway over public broadcasting. we all no what they did to poor lil' Buster.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:57 PM on May 2, 2005


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