Charges of bias leveled at PBS yesterday in this post here at Newsbusters about PBS's airing nationwide tonight of "Gold Futures," documentary regarding a proposed gold mine in Romania, are backed up today with new information revealed by John Fund in the Wall Street Journal.
"Gold Futures," by Hungarian filmmaker Tibor Kocsis, apparently is based on Kocsis' 2004-released documentary titled "New Eldorado," which had the subtitle "Gold. The Curse of Rosia Montana," and is clearly biased against the mining project.
PBS is scheduled to broadcast nationally Tuesday night a biased documentary about a gold-mining project in Romania. The segment of the PBS series Wide Angle, titled "Gold Futures," looks at the ongoing controversy over a proposed gold mine in the village of Rosia Montana and all indications are that it will follow the anti-mine perspective promoted by a variety of European environmentalists who don't live in the village, an effort now backed by leftwing American financier George Soros, whose Soros Foundation-Romania recently opened an office in Rosia to fight the mining project.
(Soros' history of investment in gold-mining companies raises questions about why he has chosen to oppose the Rosia mining project, but that's a subject for another post some day.)
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.
There are times when I hate being a media analyst, for I am often forced to view and review television reports and newspaper articles that literally make me nauseated while undermining my faith in journalists as a whole as well as my fellow citizens.
The following video is a perfect example, a virtual piece of detritus that unfortunately is likely to offend so many viewers on so many levels that it's almost unimaginable a highly-regarded American journalist was responsible for its content.
Alas, Bill Moyers was at it again Friday evening closing out his Bill Moyers Journal program on PBS with a monologue about President George W. Bush and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that is guaranteed to sicken you as much as it did me.
In fact, my disgust over this abomination is so great that I care not to excerpt or highlight any of its contents in fear of ruining my weekend. As such, what follows is a partial transcript of this disgraceful refuse for your reading displeasure (video available here, h/t NBer mattm):
On Friday night’s "Inside Washington," panelists trashed Ross Buettner’s story in the New York Times playing up a close relationship between Fox News boss Roger Ailes and GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Newsweek’s Evan Thomas said "I think this was the New York Times thinking that Ailes is Darth Vader, because they made him out to be this monster who’s given all this time to Giuliani, but the story itself and the graphics supporting it didn’t support the story." Others agreed. "There’s nothing in this story," said columnist Charles Krauthammer. Colby King of the Washington Post scornfully added, "This is exactly why newspapers in trouble," and said they acted like a tabloid. Thomas concluded, "It says more about the paranoia of the New York Times than anything else."
Senator Charles Schumer is a legendary pursuer of television cameras. But look at the way the national media are covering Schumer’s heavy-breathing pursuit to make Attorney General Alberto Gonzales cry uncle and resign. It makes you wonder just how hard Schumer has to work to get press attention. The media look Schumer-owned and operated.
One interview really captures how the press looks more like a Democratic goon squad than a nonpartisan observers of the national scene. On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” news anchor Christopher Cuomo, son of Mario Cuomo, asked this pushy question on July 27: “Is Alberto Gonzales out of a job at end of business today?” Cuomo wanted the Attorney General whacked, and he wanted it now.
In a letter sent far and wide to anyone (including the MRC) who criticized his hour-long tantrum tub-thumping for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on July 13, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers lectured PBS ombudsman Michael Getler that PBS was created to disturb the "official consensus" and praised his two pro-impeachment guests, a "liberal" and a "conservative scholar who reveres the Constitution," for "they made a valuable contribution to the public dialogue, as confirmed by the roughly 20:1 positive response to the broadcast. Of course I could have aired a Beltway-like 'debate' between a Democrat and a Republican, or a conservative and a liberal, but that’s usually conventional wisdom and standard practice, and public broadcasting was meant to be an alternative, not an echo."
Today FOX News Specials with E.D. Hill aired the film banned by PBS, "Muslims Against Jihad".
According to FOX: "It was commissioned as part of the PBS series "America at the Crossroads" about the post 9/11 world, but PBS executives rejected it."
Why? PBS said it was because the filmmakers were "alarmist, overreaching and unfair."
The filmmakers, which include Frank Gaffney, however say it was because of liberal bias at PBS. One of the filmmakers said he was asked by PBS, "Don't you screen the politics of those you use?" (specifically of Gaffney).
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler has to be getting uncomfortable for calling out unbalanced liberal programs on the taxpayer-funded network. After he agreed with critics last week that a pro-Kerry editorial was wildly out of place on the show "History Detectives," now he has noticed the incredibly one-sided Bill Moyers Journal hour on impeaching Bush and Cheney and mildly noted it could have used a smidgen of balance. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s promise to avoid impeachment hearings, he wrote, "I would argue that it is still a newsworthy topic. So, as a viewer, I'm grateful that it is being addressed....On the other hand, there was almost a complete absence of balance, as I watched it, in the way this program presented the case for impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney."
On his page on the PBS website, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler agreed with e-mailers on an episode of gratuitious liberal bias – a seemingly out-of-nowhere attack on the 2004 ad campaign against John Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – on the show "History Detectives." In a brief commentary, Wes Cowan denounced how the group known as "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and funded by a wealthy Republican campaign donor smeared Kerry's military record and possibly cost him the election." When Getler asked the executive producer Christopher Bryson about the claim, he shot back: "In stating that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ‘smeared Kerry's military record’ we carefully and believe accurately summarized and characterized a great deal of objective reporting by established media organizations, respected media watchdog groups, and an official Pentagon investigation."
Those "objective" reporters included The Washington Post, and the Annenberg Center’s Factcheck.org, which also relied on the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and a Kerry pal’s commentary in the Wall Street Journal. But the "objective" label gets more hilarious when Bryson also cited John Kerry’s incredibly sympathetic liberal biographer and pop-historian Doug Brinkley, and the left-wing Center for Media and Democracy’s online Sourcewatch encylopedia. CMD puts out paperback books with obviously left-wing and partisan titles such as Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq and Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America Into a One-Party State.
Bruce Fein was a member of the Reagan Administration, but during the Dubya years, Fein sounds a lot like your typical "Bush hater," comparing the president to a long list of historical villains, which makes him a more acceptable guest for Bill Moyers or NPR’s Diane Rehm show. Here are the actual places in the Friday Bill Moyers Journal interview where squeaky-voiced Fein took Bush to the historical dark alley and tried to rough him up:
– Today’s Japanese Internment Camps?
FEIN: Take World War II. We locked up 120,000 Japanese Americans, said they were all disloyal. Well, we got 120,000 mistakes. They lost their property. They lost their liberty for years and years because we made a huge mistake. And that can be true after 9/11 as well.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers devoted his entire hour-long Bill Moyers Journal on Friday night to the need to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. The stacked hour had two guests, and both were aggressively pro-impeachment: John Nichols of The Nation magazine, author of the book "The Genius of Impeachment," and lawyer Bruce Fein, who Moyers labeled a "conservative," but he compared Bush to King George III, to Adolf Hitler, to the communist autocrats of the Gulag, and to, well, FDR, in suggesting the post 9-11 era could see a mistake like our interning of Japanese Americans. In this conversation, Moyers sometimes played the skeptic, but the overall tenor of the hour was not only anti-Bush, but anti-Speaker Pelosi for being so timid: "Why doesn't Nancy Pelosi see it her duty to take on at least the impeachment hearings that you say would educate the public?"
It’s really something when PBS is so far to the left it’s bashing both parties for not being radical enough, but this is a routine pose for Moyers, where he somehow thinks he’s "objective" when he sounds roughly in sync with the Dennis Kucinch for President campaign. Pelosi came in for whacks several times, first in this early exchange:
Tavis Smiley's interview of Michael Moore, aired June 29 on Smiley's eponymous PBS program, is just another reminder of the ridiculous lack of credible journalism which goes on at the taxpayer-funded network.
The interview was nothing more than Smiley lobbing softball after softball straight over the plate while Mr. Moore hit his talking points out of the park on everything from the "far right"to a wage gap between whites and African-Americans.
Smiley’s ceremonial first pitch was enough to clue in viewers that there would be no attempt on Smiley's part on conducting an unbiased or challenging interview. “You have done it again,” Smiley gushed to the veteran political filmmaker.
Not only does Moore advocate for socialized medicine, he also gets to let loose against what he calls the "far right" (anyone who doesn't think socialized health coverage is the answer) and portrays himself as someone who just wants to enlighten America on the "facts."
Below is part of the interview (emphasis mine), followed by my analysis:
Matt Sheffield's post over at Ace's place ("The Attempted Crucifixion of Frank Luntz") noted the heat PBS had received for having GOP pollster Frank Luntz participate as an analyst at last Thursday's Democrat debate:
The blog left's puppet master, David Brock, sends out an "alert" informing them that someone who might possibly be conservative is going to be allowed to report as a "mainstream" journalist.
..... Thankfully, PBS has not backed down. Luntz, who is a respected pollster and is often quoted in liberal publications is not getting the shaft, making him one of the very few Republicans that has (so far) managed to escape the assault of the conservaphobic left.
Mr. Brock and his Media Matters (MM) organization are being quite selective.
In August 2006, longtime "Friend of Bill" Clinton Vinod Gupta's Info USA, which had spent its entire corporate history in "data collection and distribution," made what should have been seen as an eyebrow-raising acquisition:
I’m not sure what derangement syndrome Bill Moyers is currently suffering from, but on Friday’s “Bill Moyers Journal” broadcast on PBS, the outspoken host went into an invective-filled tirade about media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that frankly was one of the most disgraceful exhibitions of liberal bias so far this year.
In his closing monologue, Moyers compared Murdoch to the Marquis de Sade, Imelda Marcos, and Satan himself.
I kid you not.
For those that can stomach it, what follows is a full transcript of this piece of…detritus. Those with a healthier GI tract can watch the video available here. And, more information concerning the press' biased coverage of Murdoch is available at the MRC’s Business and Media Institute.
Without further ado (h/t Dan Gainor, emphasis added, better fasten your seatbelts!):
On the Friday edition of "Good Morning America," "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos appeared to discuss the June 28 Democratic debate in Washington D.C. Stephanopoulos alternatively described Senator Hillary Clinton as giving a "solid debate performance," "spirited performances," and "solid performances."
Considering that the ABC host is a former top aide to Bill Clinton, his objectivity might be somewhat suspect. Additionally, Stephanopoulos appeared to go out of his way to attack obscure Democratic candidate Mike Gravel as "the skunk at the party." Perhaps not so coincidentally, Gravel has been a strident critic of Senator Clinton, among others, at recent debates.
Barbara Walters, who sometimes plays an objective journalist on TV, chose this week to endorse "Sicko," Michael Moore’s left-wing screed about the health care industry. The veteran news anchor enthused, "Everyone should see it." Conservatives shouldn’t be surprised by this type of propagandizing, however. Last year, Walters endorsed Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth." (See blog for link.)
Speaking of the "The View," an ex-host from that program, Meredith Vieira, gushed on Monday’s edition of "Today" that Hillary Clinton is "unbeatable" and a "teflon candidate." Later in the week, Matt Lauer, a co-anchor on the NBC program, touted Mrs. Clinton’s "Sopranos" parody. He declared it "a hit" and "clever." The other network morning shows were similarly impressed.
The supposedly “free speech” left are out in force trying to silence all voices in the media with views different than their own just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign.
Potentially more worrisome, one liberal advocate in the middle of this debate has close ties to the Clintons, although it is quite unlikely the press will convey such when its recommendations are disseminated with their predictable stamp of approval.
With that in mind, the left-leaning Center for American Progress published a report Thursday detailing how conservatives dominate the talk radio dial, and exactly what needs to be done legislatively for liberals to wrest control over this medium (emphasis added throughout):
This may come as a surprise to many religious Americans in the country: PBS this month is broadcasting a documentary presenting both sides of the controversial issue of the “separation of church and state.”
As many of you know, this has been an ongoing debate for decades as to when this term first appeared, and what the Founding Fathers’ intent truly was concerning government involvement in organized religion.
The documentary’s goals are described thusly at the PBS website (emphasis added throughout):
MRC intern Michael Lanza reports that late-night PBS talk show host Charlie Rose is nothing if not complimentary toward the glitterati of the left. On the June 12 show, he had to insist that leftist hedge-fund philanthropist George Soros was a "promoter of democracy" when a guest who worked for him started noting he was a socialist. On June 4, during his interview with Carl Bernstein on his Hillary biography, Rose oozed that the impeached former president was "the most curious human being on the planet." Rose also asked Bernstein if there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against the Clintons:
ROSE: Is this something like a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?
BERNSTEIN: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy I think existed.
This is something that must truly be seen to be believed. "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith concluded an interview with former Vice President Al Gore by attempting to pin a Gore ‘08 button on the politician. Why stop there, Harry? Why not slap a bumper sticker across your suit? (Be sure and check out the NB video clip.)
Sometimes the media make it very clear what they would like you to believe. On Tuesday’s "Today" show, various NBC reporters described senatorial candidate and former liberal radio host Al Franken, as "smart," "Harvard smart" and a "smart guy." Now, try and imagine if Ann Coulter ran for elected office. Think Meredith Vieira would laud her intellect?
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured an extensive segment on the root causes of why Rosie O’Donnell left "The View." They covered every angle of the story. Well, except for the fact that the comedienne insinuated that American troops are terrorists.
Demonstrating the insular liberal world of New York public television, PBS late-night talk show host Charlie Rose hosted an interview for Al Gore in front of a very supportive draft-Gore-for-president audience at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and then made it his Friday night national television broadcast. He asked Gore if the election was stolen in Florida, if Gore would consider running in 2008 now that he's speaking his mind freely without consultants, and how the network news elite has played a part in "The Assault on Reason."
The whole thing had the air of Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, with Charlie Rose playing James Lipton and a supportive audience bathing the guest in adulation. Rose began with an effusive tribute, reading purple prose about how right he is on the issues and how graciously accepted defeat in 2000 (apparently leaving out the six weeks of desperate pleading and lawyering?) from two liberal columnists from The Washington Post and a liberal venture capitalist:
Frank Gaffney's film "Islam vs. Islamists" -- ripped out of PBS's post-9/11 film series "America At The Crossroads" like unsightly hair off PBS's back -- has now found a distributor in Oregon Public Broadcasting. Is that good news? It might be good that more of the public might have a chance to see it. But its new distribution deal with OPB means it's completely optional for PBS stations to air it, and whenever they want -- like 3 AM on a Monday morning. That's a far cry from the prime-time national PBS feed, with all the public-relations weight that the "Crossroads" series managed.
In The Washington Post, Paul Farhi framed the tale with a narrative of bald-faced intervention by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is supposed to just hand over the money to PBS and shut up, like a kid who gets his lunch money stolen daily. The PBS elite talks a phony game of artistic integrity and independence, but it's a liberal sandbox, and if you don't have something liberal to say, your ball gets taken away. We might offer some kudos to the Post for noting the deal, and letting Gaffney speak:
On May 4, Bill Maher appeared on the PBS talk show Charlie Rose to denounce Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. Speaking of being greeted as liberators, Maher said America will get back its global reputation almost instantly once Bush is gone and the Carter-Clinton people are back in charge of foreign policy:
CHARLIE ROSE: Now, we`re at a low ebb in terms of our respect around the world. In your judgment, and people you talk to -- Madeleine Albright and the whole range of people -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, who come there [to Maher's show in L.A.], how long does it take, if there`s a change in administration -- which there clearly will be -- and if it is somebody that has the same belief that you do, will it take to get America back?
PBS won't let the general public watch "Islam vs. Islamists," however blogger Roger Simon has seen it and was quite impressed:
I have to admit the first thing that attracted me to Martyn Burke’s
“Islam vs. Islamists” was that PBS had suppressed it. As is now well
known, the Public Broadcasting network rejected Burke’s documentary -
produced with Frank Gaffney and Alex Alexiev for the network’s
“American Crossroads” series - on the film’s completion. PBS’ initial
explanation for this blackballing was that the film was not good
In a blog at The Huffington Post, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers displayed the crackling synapses of the liberal mind. He quickly zig-zagged from Queen Elizabeth being greeted at the White House to Prince Harry going to Iraq (the poor, deluded sitting duck) to pampered plutocrats who received tax cuts in a time of war. "War should be the great equalizer...Instead, mostly folks from the working class and professional soldiers are doing the dying in Iraq, while the rich spend their tax cuts."
I do hope multi-millionaire Moyers channeled the tax savings from his government-TV gains back into the federal Treasury. ("Dear IRS: I will show the fortitude our president lacks. Here is my entire tax cut returned to where it belongs, in the government's superbly efficient hands.") Here's how his logic unfolded in greater detail:
Former CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer told Columbus Dispatch writer Tim Feran that the gossip was untrue that he was trashing Katie Couric in the press. "I was not the source for that story, period. I had nothing to do with it...and I don't know who did." Schieffer also took exception to the Bill Moyers theory that the national media were enablers to President Bush's runup to war in Iraq.
Q: In his recent PBS report about the run-up to the Iraq war, Bill Moyers said: "The press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses." Do you agree?
A: I don't think we enabled them to go to war, although there's no question we should have asked harder questions. But I think the Democrats should have asked harder questions, the CIA should have asked harder questions, the people within the administration should have asked harder questions. Somewhere along the way, the decision to go into Iraq somehow became the fault of the press.
Set your TiVo to CNN Headline News at 9 p.m. EDT tonight. NewsBusters senior editor/MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham will be on the "Glenn Beck" program to discuss how PBS is politicizing a documentary about World War II.
The controversy centers around how documentary producer Ken Burns and PBS have dealt with pressure from activist groups to include more footage on Hispanic Americans' contributions to the war effort.
Here is the kind of debate that's common on taxpayer-subsidized PBS: two liberals arguing over the right degree of rage over President Bush on Iraq. Should it be white hot? Or just hot enough that you don't burn your mouth on it? On Thursday night's edition of his eponymous show, Tavis Smiley interviewed Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.
Ignatius worried out loud about finding some degree of national unity in the Iraq end game, and suggested Bush hatred is running contrary to the national interest: "People are so angry in Washington. The debate is so intense that I just worry that we're just slipping a gear as a country. People are almost so angry at George Bush that they want to see this thing fail to spite him, and that should be. That's wrong." Smiley tried to suggest he was asking "devil's advocate" questions, but his angry tone and finger-pointing body language gave his personal opinion away:
SMILEY: Far be it for me to argue with you, but let me just take the devil's advocate position on this, just to press you a little bit more on this. Why shouldn't we be outraged? Why shouldn't we be angry with George Bush?
IGNATIUS: We should be...
SMILEY: Why shouldn't this be the issue around which we will throw down a gauntlet and be angry? We're losing lives every day, why not this, if any issue, to be just outraged about?