Correction: PBS 'Frontline' Producers Contacted MRC For 'News War'

February 19th, 2007 11:41 AM

Last Tuesday, in a blog suggesting the PBS Frontline documentary on 'News War' would be biased, I added: "Suffice it to say PBS has not contacted the news watchers at the MRC." Frontline executive editor Louis Wiley protested that they had. I asked our publicists, and they located an e-mail from April, requesting a 90-minute interview with MRC president Brent Bozell, which was refused. I was not aware of the request, and I was incorrect. Here is the e-mail I received from Wiley of PBS:

As our producer Arun Rath said, we had wanted to interview O'Reilly and Limbaugh in person to ask them questions about this topic, but they turned us down. It didn't, however, stop us from doing our best to represent their views as our commitment to professionalism requires.

In fact, there are a number of conservative voices, as well as other critics, in next Tuesday's film about reporting on sensitive secret government programs in a time of war. You'll hear the President call such stories "disgraceful;" you'll hear from a former number two at the CIA explain how they may be harmful; you'll hear a spokesman for the FBI, himself a former newsman, question the decision to publish; you'll hear from Pat Buchanan; and there will be a steady drumbeat of voices in stock footage clips, including Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and William Kristol, who will pillory The New York Times and The Washington Post.

As to your point about "not contacted the news watchers at the MRC," in fact, we spent several weeks trying to get an interview with your publisher, Brent Bozell. Maybe you didn't know that he turned us down, but perhaps you'll understand why your complaint about the lack of conservative voices strikes me as chutzpah in the first degree.

Cheers, Louis Wiley, Executive Editor, FRONTLINE