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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 12, 2010

ENTROPY BEAT: PUBLIC TELEVISION LOSING BILL MOYERS, BUT GAINING A RIGHTWINGER WHO PREDICTED A 36,000 DOW

Fair - Two of the hardest-hitting shows on public television--Now and the Bill Moyers Journal--will be going off the air in April. The two shows stand out as examples of what PBS public affairs programs should be: unflinching independent journalism and analysis. The shows have covered poverty, war and media consolidation--not to mention serious discussions of subjects taboo elsewhere, like the case for impeaching George W. Bush.

PBS has offered very little explanation of what will replace these shows, saying only that they will announce changes sometime this month. But one line-up change many PBS viewers will see this February is the addition of Ideas in Action--a show produced by the George W. Bush Institute, part of the new presidential library in Dallas.

According to Danny Shea, the institute's executive director, James Glassman, will host the show; though not distributed by PBS, it's scheduled to appear on many public TV stations. Shea reported that the first episode would be "a discussion on pay for performance in education."

Glassman, a longtime fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, is perhaps best known for his remarkably optimistic--and wrong--book Dow 36,000. He also regularly penned op-eds for major U.S. newspapers that pushed views and policies that would directly benefit sponsors of his online news site, TechCentralStation.com . . .

Such conservative, corporate-friendly programming is hardly new on PBS, which has long aired shows hosted by conservatives (McLaughlin Group, Think Tank With Ben Wattenberg, Tony Brown's Journal) as well as corporate-oriented programs (Nightly Business Report, CEO Exchange, Wall Street Week With Fortune). Under Bush CPB chair Ken Tomlinson, PBS launched the Journal Editorial Report, a program that featured the Wall Street Journal's right-wing editorial board and was supposed to be a "balance" to Now--although unlike the Editorial Report, Now frequently had guests whose views differed from those of the show's producers . . .

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