PBS in the UK?

There was an interesting piece in the New York Times yesterday (8/1/11) by Elizabeth Jensen about plans to ship PBS programming across the pond. It’s a hard concept to get your head around, especially if you’re under the impression that Britain’s public broadcasting system is superior to our own.

That might not be the strangest part, though:

W. David Lyons, chairman and chief executive of the Orca Exploration Group, which operates a Tanzanian natural gas field, is backing the PBS UK project financially. PBS described him as “a Canadian-born entrepreneur and venture philanthropist” who “grew up on PBS programming and is interested in bringing such content to the U.K.”

There’s something perfect about this. PBS–long criticized for being too cozy with giant energy industry sponsors–is trying to get into Britain with the backing of an energy company CEO.British viewers might not understand that the word “Public” in the name is intended to be ironic.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.