Is PBS still making money off a discredited documentary that they know is filled with untruths, misquotes, and lies? It would seem so.
In 2003 PBS aired a show titled "Einstein's Wife" that attempted to prove that Albert Einstein's world changing theories of physics were a result of a hidden collaboration with his first wife, Mileva Maric. This documentary claimed that Maric’s work on the theory of relativity was lied about and hidden away all these years by Einstein, his biographies and history. Imagine the implications if the work of what must be the smartest woman on earth was hidden by those evil, greedy men who don't want to share credit with a woman. It's a feminist's dream story promulgated by PBS.
Unfortunately it isn't true. Not only is it not true, but also so many historians have since complained to PBS that they surely know the real truth by now, even if their original airing was a result of their honestly just not knowing the truth then. Yet, this faux documentary still has a PBS sponsored webpage and was recently aired by Australian broadcasters. PBS is also still selling DVDs and attempting to make money off a film hat has been discredited by dozens of historians and even attacked by the scientists in the film who were misquoted and misrepresented by the film's producers.
The PBS hosted website describes the documentary as presenting the “probabilities” that Einstein’s first wife had a lot to do with creating Einstein’s great and far reaching works but that she was “erased” from history.
Who was Mileva Maric? Why was she erased from Einstein's life story? What significance does she have? At the crux of these questions are Einstein's revolutionary work of 1905 and the possibility that Maric was his scientific collaborator. Einstein's autobiographies never mentioned his first wife. The world only learned of her existence through the first release of Einstein's private letters in 1987. This project invites you to explore the known facts of Mileva Maric's life and consider the probabilities.According to their website, "PBS programs and education services enrich the lives of all Americans" and of course it does so "with your support." Most of us know that the "support" PBS is so thrilled about is our taxes at work and few conservatives are too pleased to offer such compulsory "support." The main reason, of course, is that PBS so very often leans to the far left in viewpoint and editorial direction and doesn't reflect the viewpoint of millions of Americans who are forced to pay for ideas that they are wholly against. Yet, PBS imagines itself an "educational" service and many of its most ardent adherents claim that it is above petty partisan politics and is only interested in broadcasting shows that speak to truth, history and facts.
But “facts” seem to be relative for the theory of relativity as far as PBS is concerned as so many distortions, half truths and outright lies are proffered as documented realities in this film that it has recently been pulled from airing again in Australia and has even been scoffed at just last December by PBS’ own ombudsman, Michael Getler.
In August of his year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation agreed that the documentary “Einstein’s Wife” was factually incorrect and has determined that they will cease their association with the project.
Simon Melkman, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Audience & Consumer Affairs has announced that, "Due to the breaches of the ABC's Code of Practice which you have identified, the ABC will not broadcast ‘Einstein's Wife' again. In addition, the ATOM ‘Einstein's Wife’ study guide has been removed from the ABC website."
Yet, PBS still has a webpage selling this DVD to the public, despite that it has been roundly criticized now in two countries, by the scientific and historical community and even those interviewed in the movie itself.
Allen Esterson, a Freud critic and writer, has been instrumental in revealing the truth about this feminist inspired and fraudulent re-write of history and has penned many exposes on the film. (For an archive of Mr. Esterson’s work: http://www.esterson.org/)
Several of the scientists and historians that were featured in the film contacted Esterson to say that they were misquoted and the ultimate purpose of the production was misrepresented to them before they agreed to the filmed interviews.
Esterson has engaged in a dogged battle with PBS to remove the film from their webpage, to distance itself from it and to cease all possible future airings of the faux documentary. So far, however, our tax funded TV broadcaster has rebuffed his efforts. Worse, they are trying to justify the film by massaging the facts to fit their desire to continue making money from it.
Esterson recently wrote about his disappointment over PBS’ reactions. “One might have thought that these views from knowledgeable Einstein specialists would have been a sufficiently damning ‘scholarly review’ to persuade PBS to ditch the whole project and admit that they had made a mistake in promoting the film. Not a bit of it. They have now commissioned a writer to maintain the project who is almost totally lacking in the scholarly credentials essential for the purpose for which she has been engaged.”
The “writer” to which Esterson refers to above is one Andrea Gabor who was associated with the film and who wrote a shabbily researched book on Einstein’s fist wife. Gabor has a stake in proving that the film was right all along as her own book served as some of the supporting research for the film.
So much for PBS’ willingness to honestly review the film!
The facts that the film uses to “prove” Maric’s contribution to Einstein’s work are tendentious, and misleading and dozens of errors constantly appear. For instance, one piece of fiction presented as fact and pointed to as proof that Maric had a hand in the theories is a long discredited story that Einstein’s original papers were seen signed with the name Einstein-Marity atop them (Marity being the Hungarianized version of Maric’s name). This, the film claims, proves that Maric was part of a team with Einstein when the theories were first written. This claim has long been known not to be true, however. Many such errors, lies and distortions are contained in this work.
Still, PBS is trying to salvage this film and continue to make money from it. As Esterson says:
“The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which co-produced the film, has demonstrated that it wishes to maintain respect for accuracy in the documentaries that it promotes and intellectual honesty in their production by withdrawing it from its schedules. For PBS to continue with its current plan can only bring it into disrepute. The PBS executives responsible for the decision to continue to promote "Einstein's Wife" should think again.”If PBS claims to cherish the truth and history, they should immediately remove this film from their website, stop selling copies of it to unsuspecting viewers and denounce the project.
Does PBS care about the truth? So far, it seems more interested in the cash.
(Hat tip newsbuster A. Roth)