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11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

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High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

International & Futurism

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

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  Worldfocus, Brought to You by Economic Fearmongers
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BAD MEDIA:

Worldfocus, Brought to You by Economic Fearmongers

PBS show takes funding from anti-Social Security foundation

SOURCE: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
10 February 2009
The PBS show Worldfocus recently received a $1 million dollar grant to produce "reports examining how other countries have dealt with the challenges facing the United States, like healthcare and Social Security" (New York Times, 2/3/09) from a foundation with a track record of misinformation and fearmongering on these very issues.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation and its founder, Pete Peterson, have long played a critical role (Extra!, 3-4/97) in promoting the myths that Social Security is on the verge of bankruptcy (Extra!, 7-8/95, 1-2/05) and that universal healthcare is unaffordable.

The foundation was a major backer of IOUSA, a recent documentary urging a balanced budget and attacking Social Security and Medicare spending that was criticized for inaccuracies and for offering economic advice that would be disastrous if followed during a severe downturn. The foundation recently placed misleading full-page ads in several newspapers warning of a looming $57 trillion federal deficit (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 10/08).

According to the Worldfocus website, the show was launched by New York station WNET with the intention of responding "to the mainstream media's diminished coverage of international news." The show includes work from other news organizations, including Al Jazeera English, and seems to provide a wider than usual array of perspectives on international issues, though that's an admittedly low bar (e.g., "Are You on the NewsHour's Guestlist?" Extra!, 9-10/06).

Intentions aside, however, Worldfocus faces the same pressures and constraints as all programs in the nominally public TV system. The head of the Peterson Foundation, David Walker, earnestly claimed (New York Times, 2/3/09) that Worldfocus would maintain "total control over the content." But if the source of funding had no impact on content, there would be no point to public broadcasting; it was the very real concern that commercial sponsorship influences programming that led to the creation of public broadcasting in the first place.

If Worldfocus were going to seriously debunk the Peterson Foundation's sky-is-falling rhetoric, it seems unlikely their grant would be renewed; that would be a major consideration in any economic climate. And WNET chief executive Neil Shapiro says of his station (New York Times, 2/3/09), "There are huge financial pressures facing this place."

Over the years, FAIR has documented a conflict-of-interest double standard at PBS, where shows produced or funded by public-interest advocates or labor unions are rejected on grounds of a conflict of interest, while those involving corporate or conservative interests get a green light (FAIR press release, 4/3/02). If it hopes to be worthy of the name "public," WNET has to enforce a single standard on such conflicts.


ACTION: Please call on WNET to reject a grant to cover Social Security and other issues from a foundation with a pronounced political bias on those issues.

CONTACT:
WNET
212-560-1313
programming@thirteen.org

You can post copies of your letters to WNET on FAIR's blog.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.


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This story was published on February 12, 2009.

 



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