Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Islam versus The Islamists on TV. Round One to Islamists

Read this if you want to get your dander up about tax-subsidized PBS scotching a film on moderate Islamists after allegations that WETA, a far-left outlet of PBS based in DC [I was Associate Producer for a WETA project and can vouch for their far-left tilt] tampered with the project. Martyn Burke, the producer alleges:
• A WETA manager pressed to eliminate a key perspective of the film: The claim that Muslim radicals are pushing to establish "parallel societies" in America and Europe governed by Shariah law rather than sectarian courts.

• After grants were issued, Crossroads managers commissioned a new film that overlapped with Islam vs. Islamists and competed for the same interview subjects.

• WETA appointed an advisory board that includes Aminah Beverly McCloud, director of World Islamic Studies at DePaul University. In an "unparalleled breach of ethics," Burke says, McCloud took rough-cut segments of the film and showed them to Nation of Islam officials, who are a subject of the documentary. They threatened to sue.

"This utterly undermines any journalistic independence," Burke wrote in an e-mail to WETA officials." Burke also alleges that PBS demand that two conservative backers of the project resign from participation.

DePaul Prof McCloud has been caught in an untruth:
In an interview, McCloud said she showed a single video frame to a Muslim journalist who was not a Nation of Islam representative.

However, in a January e-mail, McCloud told Crossroads producers that she had spoken with Nation of Islam representatives and "invited them over to view this section." She also wrote that they were outraged "and will promptly pursue litigation."

Stewart, the WETA executive, said McCloud was admonished for "inappropriate" conduct.

The project I worked on way back in the day was also threatened with litigation and, in my case, a five-minute rejoinder was tacked on to the end of the piece, which dealt with the Middle East.

Anyone familiar with DePaul knows that its association with Islamic affairs tends to be radical, due to a law school professor named Cherif Bassiouni.

PBS was able to escape accountability for its ultra-left bias a couple of years ago when a Bush appointee tried to clean house, but was nailed for a minor infraction by a whistle-blower. Like any government-connected bureaucracy, the lifers in CPB and PBS are almost to-a-man/woman Democrats or lefter than that.

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