New York Times blogger Brian Stelter (7/20/10) reports on the controversy over the PBS documentary on George Shultz that was funded by Shultz's friends and associates. Stelter quotes the producer of the show's response to the criticism, along with FAIR's rejoinder:
The series' producer, David deVries, said in a statement to Mr. Getler that "throughout the almost three years it took me to create the series, I was completely unaware of who the funders were." (In response, FAIR said Tuesday that the producer needn't be aware of the funders' identities because the company behind the series, Free to Choose Media, "consistently" produces conservative projects.)
In other words, it's not necessary for the producer to know who the funders are to be affected by the funding; the funders determined that the product would be a conservative-friendly portrayal of their conservative friend when they gave their money to Free to Choose Media, because that's the kind of programming that Free to Choose makes. As for deVries' insistence that he was totally independent, and that's it's merely a coincidence that his documentary came up with the same kind of message that all other Free to Choose documentaries have, George Seldes said it best:
The most stupid boast in the history of present-day journalism is that of the writer who says, "I have never been given orders; I am free to do as I like."