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A history of television hijacking.

During the 70s and 80s a new phenomenon appeared. Television Hijacking. It started in 1977 when a man in England hijacked the sound broadcast of a newscast. In 1986, a hijacker known as Captain Midnight hijacked HBO in response to their scrambling of television signals. The year after (20 years ago as of today), a character disguised as Max Headroom (a television character) infiltrated two Chicago television studios in one night. First the man infiltrated Channel 9 (WGN) for a few seconds with no sound, and then moved on to attack another Chicago station, this time with sound. After the Max Headroom incident, television hacking incidents were rare in the United States except for this one in Wyoming.
posted by ooklala on Nov 22, 2007 - 38 comments

"The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have no taste and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way."

Triumph of the Nerds is a 1996 three-part documentary recounting the rise of the personal computer, including interviews with Gates, Wozniak and Jobs, among others. It was originally produced for British television, and aired on PBS in the USA. Part One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Part Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Part Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Transcripts here. After you watch, you can play the "Guess the Computer" game.
posted by amyms on Sep 29, 2007 - 19 comments

"Happy Trees" gets an update

David Dunlop is a landscape painter. This is the first episode of his new PBS show, Landscapes Through Time, on American Impressionism. (Parts 1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Sep 16, 2007 - 3 comments

Anti-Americanism in Europe

This PBS documentary about Anti-Americanism (a hate/love relationship) examines the complicated mixture of envy, pride, admiration, and cultural misunderstanding that characterizes european views. This documentary covers only France, Britain and Poland. Is there comparable Anti-Europeanism similar to Anti-Americanism? Or maybe it's all down to the evil liberal european media [Part 2]?!
posted by homodigitalis on Aug 28, 2007 - 89 comments

Chuck got it going on

Charlie Rose's new website has been in development over a year as technicians worked with Google to archive over 4,000 hours of interviews all culminating in 8,000 program segments including David Foster Wallace talking about David Lynch, Christopher Hitchens badmouthing religion, and Rem Koolhaas discussing recent changes in China.
posted by four panels on Aug 15, 2007 - 37 comments

"Livin' out some ad man's dream in Idiot Joy Show Land"

Watch Frontline's "The Persuaders". Then read up on "neuromarketing". Previously
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 4, 2007 - 34 comments

Bill Moyers' PBS documentary on the media's actions in the run-up to the Iraq invasion

"The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on." Bill Moyers returned to PBS last night with this documentary (transcript) examining the mainstream media's role in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
posted by ibmcginty on Apr 26, 2007 - 56 comments

The Pursuit of Happyness II: This time, it's a cross-cultural documentary

Three small classes of high school students, one in Watsonville, California, one in Jos, Nigeria, and one in Dharamsala, India, are currently collaborating on "Project Happiness". The students are "exchanging their thoughts about what happiness is, and how to behave in ways that promote happiness all around them," drawing on the Dalai Lama's Ethics for the New Millennium (useful 50-page pdf study guide; positive review from Christian Century magazine). In their work creating a curriculum for the book, the students communicate via email, a blog, and videos (an instructor in India describes the project's focus; a "what life is like here" video from India). The podcast section of the official site currently features just one introductory video posted a few weeks ago. The project will culminate in a meeting of all three classes in March 2007 in Dharamsala. A book and a PBS documentary are planned.
posted by ibmcginty on Dec 28, 2006 - 5 comments

I've got big plans for my future.

PBS says good night, Melanie, now security will escort you out. Melanie Martinez was the star of The Good Night Show, the marquee show on the PBS-Comcast preschool channel, Sprout. At least, she was until this week, when a parody PSA promoting "technical virginity" (video, NSFW) from her starving actress days resurfaced, thanks to a Memphis radio station. PBS fired her, saying that the "video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host," even though it pre-dated her Sprout work by many years. A new meaning for the word dooced?
posted by dw on Jul 21, 2006 - 95 comments

3-year-old's PBS NewsHour party

3-Year-Old's Birthday Party Theme: 'NewsHour'
posted by rxrfrx on Jun 17, 2006 - 39 comments

Won't you be my neighbor?

Mr. Rogers before the Senate in 1969. [video; YouTube]
posted by Sticherbeast on May 25, 2006 - 63 comments

“a little in love with death”

Forty-nine published plays. Four Pulitzer Prizes. Three marriages. A suicide attempt. A celebrity for a father. A drug-addicted mother who blamed her habit on her son. A daughter estranged, a son who committed suicide. A Nobel Prize, the only ever awarded to an American playwright.
Eugene O'Neill from inside out: a documentary film for American Experience. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 30, 2006 - 16 comments

Bill Nye for Grown-Ups

The Eyes of Nye is "Bill Nye the Science Guy" for adults, with topics like "Cloning," "Pseudoscience," and "The Evolution of Sex" with its montage of happily fornicating animals. The topics are more serious but the humor is still there. The show's web site has video clips and extra information related to each episode. [both links use Flash]
posted by pithy comment on Dec 13, 2005 - 19 comments

family at war

family at war an excellent documentary of a family who lost their son in iraq - particularly moving is the soldiers determined, soft-spoken mother who is examining the reasons for her loss.
posted by specialk420 on Nov 14, 2005 - 8 comments

The Torture Question tonight on PBS

The Torture Question tonight on PBS by far, television's most in-depth look at how the controversial interrogation policy evolved after a major power struggle within the Bush administration. (via Rocky Mountain News) The problem, of course, is that it's often the things we'd rather not think about that we most need to hear, especially when those things are actions taken in all of our names with an eye toward making us safer. Ellen Gray Watch a preview here.
posted by tvgurl on Oct 18, 2005 - 41 comments

"Operation Offset"

"Operation Offset" is what the Republicans are calling their budget cut plan to pay for Hurricane Katrina. Will there be tax cuts for the rich? Nope. The great majority of the proposed cuts target the elderly and the poor, heavily targeting Medicare. They eliminate all federal funding for energy conservation, the "Energy Star" program, energy efficient vehicles, hydrogen vehicles, high-speed rail, light rail, PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, AmeriCorps, the "Even Start" program, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, security/anti-drug funding for innercity schools, and all federal loans to grad students. Also facing cuts are the Global AIDS Initiative, the EPA, the Center for Disease Control, pensions and healthcare plans for retired federal workers, job programs and revitalization funds for poor neighborhoods, the school lunch program, community health centers, and health care for soldiers.
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 27, 2005 - 120 comments

Birds vs Michael Jackson

Moonwalking birds. This is an awesome video of a Manakin bird doing the Michael Jackson thing.
posted by dov3 on Sep 19, 2005 - 20 comments

NerdTV out

The first episode of NerdTV is out but the site is so inundated with users that the official torrent is the only way to get a copy at the moment. It's an online-only series featuring hour long episodes filled with interviews done by Robert Cringely.
posted by mathowie on Sep 7, 2005 - 15 comments

American Masters

Jackie Brenston, Ike Turner, Joe Hill Louis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and of course Elvis all passed thur Sun Records in the 1950's. PBS American Masters Good Rockin' Tonight The Legacy of Sun Records has good music and history of the blues and rock and roll. Paul McCarty, Live and other preform the old tunes.
posted by bjgeiger on Aug 3, 2005 - 24 comments

NerdTV

NerdTV. “Beginning Sept. 6, PBS will make available – exclusively over the Internet [and under a Creative Commons License] – broadcast television’s first entirely downloadable series, featuring PBS technology columnist and industry insider Robert X. Cringely’s interviews with personalities from the ever-changing world of technology.” [Via]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jul 13, 2005 - 13 comments

Private Warriors

Private Warriors: FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith travels throughout Kuwait and Iraq to give viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at companies like Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, and its civilian army. Sixty minutes of absolutely fascinating and astonishing video is online.
posted by well_balanced on Jun 24, 2005 - 20 comments

Grouchland

Elmo Strikes Back? Investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are examining payments to two Republican lobbyists that were not disclosed to the corporation's board, and whether Mr. Tomlinson had the authority to approve the payments. PreviousFilter.
posted by R. Mutt on Jun 16, 2005 - 4 comments

Ready To Learn?

House Appropriations panel eliminates ALL public funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Ready To Learn. From this morning's Cynopsis:Kids e-newsletter: "In our nation's capital yesterday, a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to approve a new bill that will see budgets sliced for both public TV and radio. Specifically in the line of fire in the kid TV universe is the elimination of the full $23m in funding for Public TV's Ready to Learn initiative. Ready to Learn provides some funds for PBS series including, Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Arthur, Reading Rainbow, Clifford the Big Red Dog and could have Buster sending smoke signals instead of postcards. [...] Though the President proposed a small budget reduction for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting this past winter, yesterday's subcommittee vote would also eliminate all government monetary funds intended for the CPB over the course of the next two years, beginning with a $100m decrease in funding to $300m for next year." Perhaps this will free up some money for No Child Left Behind?
posted by eatyourlunch on Jun 10, 2005 - 85 comments

Wal-mart: Sith Lord of unbridaled capitalism

That "liberal bastion" PBS and that "wacky" Christian Right AGREEING on something? Does the "Sith Lord of unbridaled capitalism" really deserve to be hated? Does it bear watching? A new movie will take a look: (Registration -free link). Why are growing numbers "ready to join the ranks of all right-thinking people the world over in declaring Wal-Mart an outpost of hell on earth"??? The full 60 minute Frontline program video is available online.
posted by spock on Jun 6, 2005 - 28 comments

Imagine a Bill Moyers and Kenneth Tomlinson showdown at high noon

Sunday the National Conference on Media Reform featured the first public speech by Bill Moyers since he left PBS. "I always knew Nixon would be back, again and again. I just didn’t know that this time he would ask to be Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."
posted by john on May 16, 2005 - 41 comments

PBS: crosshaired?

PBS: crosshaired? NYTimes link. Previously, related. Hmm. No mention of David Brooks!
posted by yoga on May 2, 2005 - 26 comments

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

a-wimoweh a-wimoweh..
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.
via
posted by peacay on Apr 30, 2005 - 15 comments

Golf carts in the maze of academe... Will this be on the test?

"Declining by Degrees:" Five Univeristy of Arizona students try to survive the megauniversity
A provocative NYT article summarizes an upcoming PBS special (1, 2) on undergraduate education at large public universities. The average time to complete the BA is 4.7 years. Students describe acquiring "maze smart" skills for navigating institutions where they are completely anonymous. Professors are castigated for striking a grade-inflating "bargain" with underachieving students so they can attend less to teaching and more to research. Assistant coaches patrol the campus in golf carts looking for student athletes playing hooky. Millions of high school grads humiliated every year across the country--should they even bother with the "paper"?
posted by ~rschram on Apr 25, 2005 - 84 comments

Utile pour apprendre le français

French In Action is now available for free, online. (click on the "VoD" link to the right of each episode; free registration required ) Long a staple of high school French classes and late-night PBS broadcasts, French In Action is notable for teaching French without translating it; meaning is made clear through context and repetition. It's an approach some people find useless and others consider "so excellent it almost justifies the invention of television ". If you'd rather learn Spanish, there's Destinos and for German, there's Fokus Deutsch--but neither one features Valérie Allain, subject of intense fascination (and occasionally creepy obsession.) ( Unfortunately, free streaming of French in Action doesn't seem to be available outside the US and Canada; Destinos and Fokus Deutsch have no such restrictions.)
posted by yankeefog on Apr 25, 2005 - 43 comments

25 Favorite Sesame Street Memories

“Because if Mr. Snuffleupagus is real, anything is possible.”
25 Favorite Sesame Street Memories
posted by anastasiav on Apr 11, 2005 - 64 comments

Is Iraq really Cuba?

Freedom's Defenders or Politicians' Pawns? No pretense of protecting Americans’ freedom went into the decision to enter into the Spanish-American War. It was out-and-out imperialism and nothing more. Veterans of that war may have helped to liberate Cuba , Guam , Puerto Rico , and the Philippines from Spanish rule; but those same veterans then turned around and rammed the jackboot of the U. S. military into the faces of those they had just liberated. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans and Filipinos, who had thought they were being freed only to find out they had merely exchanged one colonial master for another, were killed in their own independence-from-Uncle-Sam movements. When they finally did throw off direct U. S. rule, they were then saddled with dictators of Uncle Sam’s choosing. No credit for the defense of Americans’ freedom can be granted to veterans of this war. Compare to this: Gunning For Saddam We report, you decide indeed...
posted by Elim on Mar 6, 2005 - 23 comments

Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay

The gays continue to spread their “homosexual agenda” through cartoons and children’s shows. First it was Tinky-Winky (the Gay Teletubbie), then SpongeBob SquarePants and PBS’s Buster. Last night it was The Simpsons. And now today we learn that Shrek is up to no good! What should a proper upstanding citizen do? Get me the President!
posted by ericb on Feb 21, 2005 - 52 comments

Charlie Rose Interviews 4 Bloggers

In a recent broadcast on PBS archived here 4 popular bloggers, Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette, Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, and Joe Trippi had a pretty interesting session with veteran interviewer Charlie Rose. Three tiny but complete QuickTime segments...
posted by indices on Feb 21, 2005 - 15 comments

PBS in trouble?

PBS in trouble? NYT link.
posted by yoga on Feb 17, 2005 - 50 comments

Free the Lesbian Bunnies!

"The nation's new education secretary denounced PBS on Tuesday for spending public money on a cartoon with lesbian [BUNNY] characters, saying many parents would not want children exposed to such lifestyles." The "Postcards from Buster" series features a peripatetic bunny, Buster, who travels the country learning about diversity. The new head of the Department of Ed has requested that PBS return the money it used to develop the show featuring the sapphic rabbits. PBS has decided not to distribute the episode to its affiliates, but WGBH has promised to make the show available to stations who want to air it.
posted by mudpuppie on Jan 26, 2005 - 56 comments

Media

Don't miss tonight on PBS the final NOW with Bill Moyers. "Bill Moyers looks inside the right-wing media machine that the conservative NEW YORK TIMES columnist David Brooks called a "dazzlingly efficient ideology delivery system." The program examines how a vast echo chamber that is admittedly partisan and powerfully successful delivers information — and misinformation — with more regard for propaganda than fact. Founding father to the conservative movement, Richard Viguerie tells Moyers, 'That’s what journalism is, Bill. It’s all just opinion. Just opinion.'”
posted by semmi on Dec 17, 2004 - 45 comments

Douglas Rushkoff's new Frontline show tomorrow

Set your TiVos (no really, try this), mooks and midriffs, Douglas Rushkoff has a new Frontline about the "persuasion industry" coming out tomorrow night on PBS. If you caught his Merchants of Cool a couple years ago, you'll probably agree it was a breakthrough program and I hold high hopes for this year's update on how advertisers rule our world.
posted by mathowie on Nov 8, 2004 - 37 comments

Jim Crow Stories

Jim Crow Stories.
posted by plep on Nov 6, 2004 - 2 comments

Rumsfeld's War

Frontline: Rumsfeld's War, a PBS/Washington Post joint documentary that aired earlier this week is now online. It is the inside story of Rumsfeld's battle to assert civil control over the military.
posted by stbalbach on Oct 30, 2004 - 15 comments

RIP Richard Avedon.

Another master taken: Richard Avedon, dead at 81. Arguably the greatest portrait photographer in history, Avedon was famous not only for his fashion or celebrity shots, but also his interest in the common man, best emphasized by the book "In the American West". He was recently working on a piece, "On Democracy" when he suffered a brain hemorrhage. Many may be familiar with his simple black & white on white style from his shots for the New Yorker (he was their first staff photographer). His site is currently shrouded in respect.
posted by Civil_Disobedient on Oct 1, 2004 - 13 comments

Lost Boys of Sudan

Lost Boys of Sudan is an amazing documentary about refugees from Sudan's Darfur conflict finding haven in the US. It's premiering on PBS tomorrow. Their website has local PBS listings as well as locations and times of upcoming screenings in the US. From sleeping on the ground in a UN refugee camp to working at WalMart in Dallas, the men in the film undertake an enormously difficult, but ultimately life-saving journey.
posted by scarabic on Sep 27, 2004 - 8 comments

The Frugal Gourmet, 1939-2004

“I bid you peace…” Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, dead at 65. One of television’s most popular cooking shows throughout the 80s and 90s, The Frugal Gourmet defined the genre. An ordained United Methodist chaplain, Smith lost his PBS show in 1997 after eight men accused him of sexual assault during the 1970s. Denying the allegations, Smith nonetheless settled the cases out of court. Did the Frugal Gourmet do the ultimate shark jump? Maybe someone should ask Elmo.
posted by wfrgms on Jul 10, 2004 - 28 comments

Blistering attack on PBS

"Other channels do what PBS [does], with the added bonus of doing it better." On the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's KQED, the SF Chronicle's TV critic Tim Goodman levels a blistering attack on the station and on PBS, calling it "one of the worst-run, thoroughly backward media entities in the country."
posted by twsf on Apr 29, 2004 - 26 comments

Ghosts of Rwanda

Ghosts of Rwanda
10 years later, FRONTLINE delivers one of the most powerful episodes in their excellent series of reports. Also covered in The Economist last week, and a couple years ago in The Atlantic in a sublime article: "Bystanders to Genocide". When you first heard about the tragedy did you wish you could have done something, if you had only known more?
posted by specialk420 on Apr 1, 2004 - 40 comments

I (can see into the future), Cringely

Robert X. Cringely's Predictions for 2004 : first he updates readers on his 2003 predictions (80% accuracy) and then dishings 15 new techie prophecies.
posted by boost ventilator on Jan 2, 2004 - 19 comments

StringThread

The elegant universe. A 3 hour PBS NOVA documentary on string theory [in 24 ~5-10 minute chunks of real player or quick time video]. Welcome to the 11th dimension.
posted by srboisvert on Nov 14, 2003 - 18 comments

se who oppress the needy insult their maker

"If Tom Delay is acting out of his Born Again Christian convictions in pushing legislation that disadvantages the poor every time he opens his mouth, I'm not saying he's not a Born Again Christian, but as a the Lord's humble fruit inspector, it sure looks suspicious to me. " - Bill Moyers interviews Joe Hough.
posted by specialk420 on Oct 24, 2003 - 36 comments

Brought to you by the letter W and the number 2.

A new TV series described as "Sesame Street for adults" gets a wide release next month on PBS stations nationwide. Its producers hope it will reach a few of the estimated 90 million "low-functioning" grown-ups. In 1992, when researchers last rated the skills of adults 16 or older, they found that nearly half weren't proficient in applying basic skills to accomplish daily tasks. Is this a bold step toward improving the lives of less fortunate adults, or a disturbing sign of the increasing ignorance of the American public?
posted by eyebeam on Jul 25, 2003 - 64 comments

The pollution in people

BodyBurden: the pollution in people. "Researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers, with a total of 167 chemicals found in the group. Like most of us, the people tested do not work with chemicals on the job and do not live near an industrial facility. Scientists refer to this contamination as a person’s body burden. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. The dangers of exposure to these chemicals in combination has never been studied." This was also the subject of a PBS program by Bill Moyers, Trade Secrets. Moyers himself was found to have 84 chemicals in his blood and urine. [Via This Modern World.]
posted by homunculus on May 26, 2003 - 17 comments

wmd free mid-east

Weapons of mass destruction free mid-east
sound like a good idea - perhaps could lead to other countries in hot zones giving up their WMDs as well? I wonder if other countries in the region would consider giving up their stockpiles?
posted by specialk420 on Apr 16, 2003 - 27 comments

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