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Frontline & PBS

Frontline & PBS

Concerned Citizens of Sweet Grass County is sponsoring two free showings of Big Sky, Big Money, a documentary produced by Frontline, a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) contributor.    In our next post, we will examine the issues discussed in the documentary, but first we ought to find out just who and what Frontline and the Public Broadcasting System are, what they have said in other broadcasts and what they have supported.

Here are some comments and positions expressed by PBS employees:

PBS host Tavis Smiley stated the United States has a terrible Christian terrorist problem.  In 2010, he said Christians blow up people every day in the United States.

In 1989, PBS aired a six-part series titled America’s Century, starring Lewis Lapham, the leftist editor of Harper’s magazine.  In Lapham’s view, the entire 20th century was an unfolding mess of American violence.  Hitler, Lenin and Stalin apparently were humanistic peace lovers.  Lapham began with the troubling “militarism and imperialism” of Theodore Roosevelt, and kept the attack on until he’d reached Ronald Reagan and the “confidence of his belief in all the American fairy tales.”

NPR legal reporter Nina Totenberg proclaimed she was “ashamed of my country” after it was revealed that major terrorism suspects were housed in secret CIA prisons (2005).

In the PBS series Ethics in America,  Mike Wallace was asked, “Don’t you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of  (American) soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?”  Without hesitating Wallace responded: “No, you don’t have higher duty…You’re a reporter.” This persuaded Peter Jennings, who changed his view: “I think he’s right, too.”  Journalism trumps loyalty.

The narrator of a PBS series on Africa, Ali Mazrui, said Moammar Qaddafi offered “supreme ideals” to make Africans and Arabs masters of their own destinies against the West.

After being criticized by Senator Jessie Helms, reporter Nina Totenberg said she wished he would die of AIDS.

In 1990, Saul Landau produced The Uncompromising Revolution for PBS.  He touted how Castro wanted to build a society “modeled on the ideals of the legendary Che Guevara….Fidel appeals to the masses to be like Che, but Che Guevara was a revolutionary saint. Most Cubans cannot aspire to such status.”

On June 12, 2007, the PBS show Now devoted most of its half-hour to smearing the pro-life movement. It didn’t matter how many times activists decried the shooting of late-term abortionist George Tiller — they were still treated as advocates of violence and terrorism. PBS hailed two other late-term abortionists, Dr. Warren Hern and Dr. Leroy Carhart.

PBS regular Julianne Malveaux hoped that Clarence Thomas’ wife “feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.”

In 1990, the panic over global warming was in full swing, and from October 7 to 11, PBS aired ten hours of a series gaudily titled Race to Save the Planet. The show’s host was Meryl Streep, who said: “By the year 2000, that’s less than 10 years away, the Earth’s climate will be warmer than it’s been in over 100,000 years. If we don’t do something, there will be enormous calamities in a very short time.” Earth Day founder Denis Hayes suggested that without an environmental revolution, man could cause “planetary death.”

Loren Jenkins, a PBS foreign editor, vowed to “smoke out” American troop locations in Afghanistan, adding he had no desire to aid a lying Pentagon and that he represented ‘history’.  We recollect similar statements from Karl Marx.

On a PBS program, Andrei Codrescu wished evangelical Christians would disappear: “The evaporation of four million people who read and believe this Rapture crap would leave the world an instantly better place.”

In 1991 Frontline aired a documentary investigating  “The Election Story of the Decade.” Liberals pushed the conspiracy theory that the Reagan campaign in 1980 secretly plotted to delay the release of the U.S. hostages in Iran to prevent an “October Surprise” for Jimmy Carter. This led to 27 network news stories (and several special episodes of ABC’s Nightline) casting ethical aspersions on the Reagan campaign. But the tale of their alleged “lawlessness and recklessness” was proven to be false.

Shortly after 9/11 PBS host Bill Moyers said: “When I see (American) flags sprouting out on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao’s Little Red Book.”

In a 1987 program on PBS, Moyers proclaimed that the “black birds” represent America and the “white birds” were the Sandinistas who revered freedom, George Washington and Jesus Christ.

Nina Totenberg was the first to report the unproven story of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas.  She later ignored sexual assault claims by Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick against Bill Clinton.

PBS aired NEA funded Tongues United, a documentary that celebrates black gay sex with explicitly pornographic talk and anti-religious overtones.

Unlike the firing of Juan Williams last year, none of these blatantly biased offenses resulted in punishment or any change in policy.

Frontline has produced a long list of left wing hit pieces.  Here are a few:

The 2001 documentary Enemies of War recounts the 1980s civil war in El Salvador. While denigrating the elected anti-Communist Salvadoran government that was backed by the Reagan administration and was fighting against Marxist terrorists from neighboring Nicaragua, the film lauds the efforts of those who “halted U.S. involvement” in the region and thereby helped El Salvador “generate peace instead of war.” Praised effusively in the film is Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts congressman who in the Eighties was a congressional aide opposed to Reagan’s efforts.

The Frontline documentary FROM JESUS TO CHRIST: THE EARLY CHRISTIANS brings together the skepticism of the Jesus Seminar and the pretentiousness of German higher criticism to form a very confused portrait of Christianity.  It takes real hubris to disregard the Gospels and try to patch together a portrait of Jesus from some limited archeological evidence.  The program’s scholars belittled Jesus.  Then they confuse the meaning behind theological precepts and  harped on a questionable source produced by the German school of higher criticism that helped undermine the church in Germany and paved the way for the Nazi Holocaust.

In a the documentary Vaccination Wars, Frontline consistently ignored and gave no voice to contributors who did not agree with their belief that child vaccinations are always good and can be multiply administered.  Even physicians with moderate doubts were not represented.  It is curious that PBS gets some of its funding from the producers of vaccinations.

The Frontline documentary Bush’s’ War, the President of the United States is portrayed as a lover of theatrical policy presentations, the slave of his cabinet, intellectual inadequate and full of blood lust.

In its’ documentary Money, Power and Wall Street, Frontline totally ignored why the subprime market got so big. That’s because if they were to explain why it got so big, they would have had to discuss the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the fact that banks, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and other lending institutions were required by law to make loans to subprime borrowers. (Click here or here for a smidgen of the voluminous literature on the subject.) from

And just wait for the coming expose of Rupert Murdoch.  The reporting correspondent has accused Murdock of participating in a conspiracy with “every Prime Minister in Britain for the last quarter century…colluding, money changing hands, cover-up and all kinds of black arts in between.”  With a lead in like that, we can hardly expect the documentary to be objective. And of course, Frontline is far too morally upright to regard a media tycoon as one of its competitors.                    

Frontline is just another head on the Medusa-like monster of the mainstream media.  They are in the business of dictating to the American public that what is wrong and what is right.  We suspect Frontline was given the American Tradition Partnership story by the Montana State Attorneys General office in order to silence a group that has been most effective in preserving Montanan’s  Constitutional freedoms in state and federal courts.

Donors and Executives:

The PBS Foundation’s most significant donors between 2005 and 2011 were the Ford Foundation, the John S. James and L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Adobe Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Richard and Rhonda Goldman Foundation, the Newman’s Own Foundation, the Orfalea Family Foundation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation.

PBS Foundation’s first executive director, Cheri Carter, was a veteran Democratic Party political operative who previously had worked for the late Ron Brown, Commerce Department secretary during President Bill Clinton‘s first term. Carter subsequently served as chief of staff in the White House office of public liaison (1996-1999), and as chief operating officer for the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Just before joining PBS, she was a fundraiser for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Not only does the Federal Government partially fund PBS (about $450 million), but the organization uses some of the money to lobby for, guess what?  More funding.  Click here to read their pitch.  Some say that amount of money is insignificant.   Perhaps, but there is a principle involved.  No public money should be given to any outfit that holds and promotes political and religious opinions.  In our view, that principle holds true for all organizations; the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, the Republican Party, Citizens United or the mis-named Public Broadcasting System.


One Response to “Frontline & PBS”

  1. Maggi Dunakin says:

    Clearly, at least to anyone who still uses their brain, $450 Million dollars is not insignificant. If this is truly Public Broadcasting, the public can fund it. In any manner that is legal. This is not.

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