PBS & Salon reject documentary…

PBS & Salon reject documentary about Florida 2000 election

Read about it on Danny Schechter’s Media weblog.  He’s the producer of the documentary that PBS won’t air, and a decades-long reporter, producer, and activist.

PBS has now spoken. In early August, they decided they will NOT screen Counting on Democracy. They gave it a resounding “no:” no broadcast, and, then, a second no to distribution by the PBS “Plus” feed that gives local stations the option to air the show or not. Here’s what ITVS told us they said: “They felt strongly that the program was not journalistic in that it tried to appear to be unbiased by including a Republican, but he was mocked and made to look silly. They felt it was “full of cheap shots” and the narration was overly simplistic. They felt that “due to the subject matter, care needed to be taken to present a more balanced look at the subject matter” even if the show ultimately had a point of view “and that wasn’t the case.”

It is hard to respond to this type of a vague attack. As someone who has made over 200 magazine shows that aired on PBS stations, produced 50 segments for ABC’s prime time 20/20 newsmagazine and directed ten major documentaries, I think I know something about journalistic standards, and would beg to differ. Suffice, it to say, we have “creative differences.” As for only featuring three Republicans, we told PBS before they make their decision that other Florida Republicans refused to be interviewed. It didn’t matter. To them, their absence just proved “bias” on our part.

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