I have been following a number of recent responses to NOVA’s recent documentary on the Dover Monkey Trial. Yesterday’s was picked up by Crooks and Liars, giving me probably my biggest day ever. Go me.
All glory and power to jadedskeptic.blogspot.com, may Allah’s merciful waffles fill his belly, who directed my attention to the following reaction to NOVA’s excellent Judgment Day, which aired last week. This is another installment in HJHOP’s coverage of the conservative crap-o-sphere’s reaction to NOVA’s “Judgment Day,” which aired on PBS on Tuesday. Related posts can be found at: Answers in Genesis Responds to NOVA, The Discovery Institute: What’s Wrong with Them?, my personal favorite Finland: Nation of Darwinian Terrorists, and NewsBusters and NOVA.
You know what is great about public broadcasting? Well, a lot, but the big one is accountability. Unlike FoxNews (“We report. Suck it.”), PBS has an ombudsman, Michael Getler, who is a viewer’s advocate, which puts him in a position to oversee PBS’s standards and practices.
As you might expect, PBS’s ombudsman was bombarded with mail generated by the NOVA series.
First off, fuck you, PBS in Memphis. Michael reports:
In Memphis, Viewers Ask: What ‘Judgment Day?’
Aside from the letters, many of which are printed just below, there were also phone calls received from PBS viewers around Memphis, Tenn., complaining that “Judgment Day” was not shown on their local station, WKNO. These callers said NOVA programs were always shown and that they were offended and insulted by what they viewed as censorship by station officials.
Early ratings research, according to PBS, show that this edition of NOVA achieved above-average viewership for the 56 TV markets around the country whose PBS stations are regularly metered by the Nielsen Station Index. This shows that the film was aired as scheduled in 52 of them. Of the four stations that didn’t show the film, one was in the middle of Pledge Drive and another is on a reduced subscription basis that delays broadcasts by several days. Memphis and Louisville, Ky., were the only others that did not show it.
The calls I got were all from Memphis. One caller, David O. Hill, later wrote to me and described “a significant departure from the high standards of intellectual integrity that we viewers expect from PBS, and for which we support our local affiliate stations with both loyalty and remuneration. WKNO-TV here in Memphis made the decision, apparently at the last minute, not to air the NOVA program, ‘Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.’ The showing had been well publicized, both on air a week in advance, and in the daily TV listings in Tuesday’s Commercial Appeal. I have spoken with two members of that paper’s editorial staff, and it seems that they, too, where dismayed by the cancellation. Apparently they queried WKNO immediately and found that the station’s email reply fell short of providing a satisfactory explanation. Why would WKNO censure the airing of this program? And yes, I do consider this censorship! Who made this decision, and with what justification? I think a serious error was made here, and I strongly hope that it will never again be repeated.”
I asked WKNO Station Manager Russ Abernathy about these complaints. He said the station decided to run re-plays of local programs that were prepared for Veterans Day, two days earlier, that were documentaries playing off the Ken Burns series “The War.” He said “Judgment Day” did not run on their analog, or main broadcast channel, the one most people get, but that it did run on the high-definition channel, and on one of the station’s digital channels. Asked if local or political pressures were a factor in not running it on the main channel, as is normal, he said, “There was some concern because of our market, but that was not the driving force by any means.” In response to the concerns expressed about not airing it, he said the station is going to run the program in the same time slot in January, probably the 22nd, with some sort of local follow-up discussion. The Commercial Appeal, under a story headlined “Topic too hot for WKNO,” also quoted station spokesman Teri Sullivan as saying the program did not air because of the “controversial nature” of the subject.
All PBS affiliates are independent and can decide what programs they are going to air. But I, too, think WKNO made a serious mistake in not broadcasting this program on its main channel at a time when the rest of the country could easily tune in.
Sorry, Memphis. The War was great and everything, but your public broadcaster did not serve you well this past week.
But it’s the letters that I find most interesting. They show exactly why more attention needs to be paid to evolutionary theory: people who criticize it do not understand it.
Daryle Getting of Winter Park, FL is an ill-informed cock:
After tonight’s program on Intelligent Design it proves that PBS has a “design” of its own – it’s one that is driving the country to destruction – your bias is completely counter to history, to the very foundation of our nation and history of nations. Every part from beginning to end had its own objective; completely counter to the Truth which is proven in the rise and fall of nations.
PBS wants to bring down the country by airing shows that don’t suck the Jesustani weenis. Man. Daryle’s biology, by the way, is as bad as his history.
Sonya Johnson of North Port, FL is clearly incapable of rational thought:
So, Why Are There Still Monkeys, a Viewer Asks?
It doesn’t take a “Rocket Scientist” to figure out that if we, as humans, evolved from monkeys . . . THEN WHY? . . . Are there STILL Monkeys??? We were “Created” by God!!! Pull up AOL now and you’ll notice the Gov. of Georgia praying for rain, (No Doubt to GOD). When 9/11 happened what did every good neighbor do? PRAY. Not to monkeys . . . To our “Creator”!!! It shouldn’t take tragic and desperate circumstances for people to realize this fact!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! In GOD We Trust!!!
Your personal god is tiny and irritating, Sonya, and you are clearly incapable of learning, if you even watched the show. Let’s look at this redneck’s reasoning, isn’t we? We did not evolve from modern monkeys, correctly stated, I think, is that we share a common ancestor with them. You would know this if you had seen the show and weren’t passed out in front your trailer, drunk on MD20/20 Banana Red, face down in vomited government cheese. She seems to think the more punctuation and capitalization she uses, the better her argument is. It’s like she has a Jesus tumor where her reason should be and sees idiocy as a patriotic duty. By her reasoning, if a Hindoo prays for rain, then the Hindu creation story is true. And on 9/11 (why the fuck does she drag 9/11 into this) I didn’t pray–and I’m a good neighbor–I stood aghast at what religious self-righteousness is capable of justifying.
Asshat David, who blights Newark, CA, wrote in:
[T]here’s the immoral implication of evolution. “Survival of the fittest” follows from evolutionary theory. Evolutionists, to be logical and true to their faith (it takes faith to believe in it since there is no clear, unimpeachable physical evidence for macro-evolution) should see nothing wrong with what Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., did in the genocides of millions of people. Since the exterminated ones were “weak,” in terms of evolutionary faith, evolution proponents should all just shrug off these murders as being inconsequential (which is how the ones responsible for the murders saw them). But most don’t, and the reason is we know those were atrocities. We know to murder another human being is wrong. And we know this because we have consciences given to us by our Creator.
Old and tired. You do not get to decide what someone else’s morality consists of, you arrogant little weasel. “Survival” does not mean “not getting murdered by others of your species” (although it can). The fact that no human (including evolutionists) worth his weight in rectal mucus could possibly endorse the massacre of millions, is proof that you are as wrong as wrong has ever been, David.
C.W. (Crusty Wanker?) from Kansas City represents Kansas. (Sucks to be Kansas.)
Any pretense of objectivity on behalf of PBS is ridiculous, I’m watching a 2 hour advertisement for evolution, smug and dismissive as it is. […] I don’t expect to hear where the pre-existing matter from which all things evolved came from.
Evolution does not address the “ultimate cause” question. There are other scientists working on those questions.
POOF magical matter space and time explode to the four corners of the cosmos. POOF magical pre-existing unicellular organism for all things to evolve from. No attempt at an explanation?
If the Big Bang theory is correct, well, no not magical, and there wasn’t a cosmos to explode into: the cosmos itself was exploding in all directions! And, no not POOF, magical organisms…imagine pooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.[…]oooof over several billions of years. Where you have inheritance and mutation, natural selection works its wonders.
It’s funny how so many people criticized NOVA for representing ID in such a bad light, when they used the exact testimony of Intelligent Design’s leading proponents. They blame the messenger instead of wondering whether or not their movements’ leaders are possibly complete blithering idiots. It couldn’t be any clearer from the Evangelibani response that people really see what they want to.