PBS ombud Michael Getler agrees with FAIR that the recent Nova special on drones that was underwritten by Lockheed Martin--a major military contractor and drone manufacturer--violates PBS funding guidelines.
Lockheed funding a 'problem for PBS'
Lockheed's Nova sponsorship violates underwriting rules
Extra! November 2012
Don’t Look to NYT to ‘Litigate’ the Facts Margaret Sullivan, the new New York Times public editor (9/16/12), used the topic of “voter fraud” to illustrate the concept of “false balance”―when two sides are treated as equivalent even when one side has reality on its side. Despite Republican efforts to pass laws to prevent voting by the ineligible, research finds next to no examples of this problem―but coverage often treats the absence of fraudulent voting as a partisan assertion (Extra!, 10/12). While Sullivan rightly observed that “journalists need to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers [...]
PBS ombud Michael Getler (4/27/12) agrees that the Dow Chemical Corporation's sponsorship of a PBS series violates PBS underwriting guidelines. PBS, unfortunately, stands by its show. A FAIR Action Alert (4/23/12) pointed out that the decision to allow Dow to sponsor the series America Revealed, which deals with issues that closely track Dow's business interests, flies in the face of PBS funding guidelines. Noting that he had received some 500 messages inspired by the alert, Getler agreed, saying that "the points raised by FAIR were fair ones, in my view, and many of the letters were quite comprehensive in their [...]
Dow-sponsored public TV series tracks Dow's product lines
The four-part series America Revealed, airing on PBS stations this month, looks at big-picture economic issues, from agriculture to transportation to manufacturing. The series underwriter? The Dow Chemical Company, whose commercial interests closely track the subjects covered in the PBS series. The first episode (4/11/12) focused on large-scale agriculture, which is one of the industries in which Dow is a major player. The program featured an extended look at the corn industry, including efforts to control pests. As the program explained, the food industry "needed a game changer" in that fight. And it got one: The "genetically modified organism, better [...]
PBS newscast presents the upside of inequality
With protesters around the country speaking out against income inequality, public television's flagship newscast made time on October 26 for the pro-inequality side to be heard, featuring a guest who invoked a phony Abraham Lincoln quote to make his case.
Will NewsHour do more to fulfill PBS mission?
PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer announced on Thursday that he would step down as anchor of the nightly newscast early next month. Will the change lead to improvements at the program? As FAIR has documented in several major studies, the NewsHour falls well short of fulfilling the mission that should guide public broadcasting: the promotion of ideas and viewpoints that are too often excluded from discussions in the commercial media. The founding mandate of public television is to "be a forum for debate and controversy" and to "help us see America whole, in all its diversity." Unfortunately, the NewsHour's programming [...]
FAIR's March 29 Action Alert documented the PBS NewsHour's remarkably narrow range of debate on the Libya War, which featured an array of current and former military and government officials. On March 30, the NewsHour's debate on arming the Libyan rebels included Emira Woods from the progressive Institute for Policy Studies. Roughly a million Americans got to hear a perspective they might not otherwise have encountered. This is why media activism is important. You can check out the segment on the NewsHour's website. FAIR thanks all of the activists who wrote to the NewsHour to suggest they expand the discussion [...]