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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 [behaving ignorantly again...]

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...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

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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

11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

11.13 Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona Senate race in breakthrough for Democrats

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11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

High Crimes?

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

11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

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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

11.11 Tax reform: down with the ‘stepped-up basis’

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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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  Print view: Don't Defund Public Broadcasting--Improve It
ACTION ALERT:

Don't Defund Public Broadcasting--Improve It

The smart way to fight back against right-wing attacks on NPR and PBS

SOURCE: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Published orginally on the F.A.I.R. website on Thursday, 28 October 2010
Public broadcasting should be pushed to live up to the high-minded ideals that established these systems in the first place, not to please "conservative" politicians.

Here we go again.

Conservative activists and Republican politicians are calling--one more time--to defund public broadcasting. The supposed offense this time around is NPR's decision to fire analyst Juan Williams over comments he made on Fox News Channel about his fear of people in "Muslim garb." The episode is proof, in the eyes of right-wing politicians, that public broadcasting is run by left-wing ideologues who use tax-supported media outlets to spread their liberal message.

The charge is nonsense--and always has been. FAIR's research of NPR and PBS programming over the past 20 years has consistently shown a tilt towards elite guests and sources--government officials, corporate representatives and journalists from the commercial media. FAIR's new study of public television (Extra!, 11/10) finds the same: a system that, by and large, fails to offer the "public" much of a hearing at all.

That narrow range of voices is bad when it's on commercial television, but it's even worse when you consider that public television's founding document calls for a system that would give voice to those "who would otherwise go unheard" and help us to "see America whole, in all its diversity."

The threats from the right to zero out public broadcasting are decades old, and there's no reason to think they will work this time around. But what they can do is remind those in power at PBS and NPR that the right expects them to act. And that part of their strategy has always been remarkably effective, particularly on public television. Conservative pundits have been granted airtime over the years--often as hosts of their own shows--in order to placate right-wing critics. That's how the Wall Street Journal editorial page got its own show on public television a few years back, along with a program for conservative pundit Tucker Carlson (FAIR Action Alert, 9/17/04).

Public broadcasting should be pushed, of course--to live up to the high-minded ideals that established these systems in the first place, not to please conservative politicians or to serve up programming that corporate underwriters want to bring to the airwaves. Last week, many public television stations were airing Food Sense, a documentary about the nation's food supply that, according to its producers's website, was underwritten by agribusiness giant Monsanto. The site describes the show: "ABC News Now contributor and Today show food trends editor Phil Lempert and a group of industry experts illuminate a one-hour public television special that asks and answers the important questions surrounding the nation's food supply." This is "public" television?

If the pressure from the right is to be effectively countered, it's not nearly enough to say, "Don't Defund NPR." What is needed is a call for public broadcasting to fulfill its mission, bringing independent, provocative programming that features voices ignored or marginalized by the commercial media.

If you want to join that call, add your name to FAIR's petition urging PBS to bring back the program Now, which exemplified the kind of journalism that should be available throughout public broadcasting. Sign the petition today.


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 October 28, 2010.
 

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