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WNED Doesn’t Give Us the Choice

by on March 22, 2010

The upside is that you missed the abortion documentary on WNED.  The downside is that they showed an abortion documentary on WNED.  Scrolling through the channel guide, as I reflexively found myself doing on a recent evening after what would be considered a normal bedtime, can help one to find fascinating programs that justify never, ever leaving the couch.

But slacker-style behavior can also uncover infuriating wastes of taxpayer money on shameless propaganda.  To be fair, that’s only an accurate description if one has a problem with a multipart look at how wonderful feticide is.

Those involved with making the show in question really, really love the idea of access to terminating pregnancies.  In the midst of last week, the commercially unsustainable station transmitted all thee parts of a heartwarming feature titled Choice: Then and Now.  The name Abortion Rocks! was apparently unavailable.  Such a designation wouldn’t be an exaggeration, as shown by the originating station’s helpful description of the series.  Specifically, it reveals the program’s thoroughly slanted nature while failing to even acknowledge dissent exists:

This award-winning trilogy examines the history of abortion, turning points in abortion law and the contemporary state of services and access. Now that over 3 decades have past since the landmark ruling on Roe v. Wade, it is important that the public not forget the consequences of restricting access to safe abortions. Each of the three films includes personal stories from those whose lives have been affected by the emotional, legal and medical issues surrounding this important topic.

That description is helpful for those ingenuous souls who thought that public television might actually produce a nuanced, balanced look at the utmost of controversial issues.  Instead, it promotes the slightly less fair abortionist-as-freedom-fighter view.  But the program’s troubles goes beyond how conservatives are appalled over its content: worse, PBS minions are rankling one side, no matter which side that is.

Personally, I’d rather buy a flag from Louise “Solution” Slaughter’s website than watch public broadcasting’s take on what they view to be the most fundamental of American rights.  Slaughter probably DVRed it and cheered while watching.

After all, before she became infamous for odd denture-related anecdotes, the Constitution-insulting chicanery embodied by the discarded concept of “deeming,” and getting schooled, Slaughter was most renowned for her defense of a woman’s right to forcibly empty the contents of her uterus at virtually any time for any reason.

On a related note, she didn’t seem particularly concerned that an executive order would limit access to or federal money for the procedure after Sunday’s vote.  Bart Stupak must be so confused.

The fact that Western New York’s most prominent non-Massa political embarrassment would enjoy the program is just more evidence against federal subsidies for slanted productions.  Classifying the reputation of PBS as biased would be like noting Lady Gaga thinks being shocking is a prudent career move.

Even jewels hidden in the muck don’t deserve to be unearthed by means of special focus.  Shows of the past like WNED home station production Reading Rainbow, which certain bloggers enjoyed as whippersnappers, still fail to merit a special exemption from market forces.

Producers of worthwhile programming should have to do the work and attract both private sponsorship and an audience; they’re both necessary components of success for a creation that can only be subjectively called good.  On 3, 2, 1: “But you don’t have to take my word for it!”

Tilting in any other direction would solve nothing.  I don’t want the channel showing things I like any more than I want to see pro-abortion cheerleading.  WNED could run repeats of treasured Sabres playoff victories and unbleeped South Park episodes, and it still wouldn’t be fair that taxpayers were patronizing my viewing habits.

Objectivity wouldn’t help, either: while a balanced abortion documentary would be better, such an imaginary offering is still something that should be backed with voluntary dollars.  Regardless, an evenhanded approach was blatantly disregarded in this case, as seen in one installment’s galling descriptions:

Through revealing personal vignettes about individuals from many walks of life, the film examines how socio-economic factors, locally imposed legal restrictions, inadequate access to care and an atmosphere of harassment and violence, affects the lives of abortion providers, clinic workers, and the women who seek their services. Interviews with community doctors, clergy, and counselors poignantly illustrate the effect of contemporary challenges on abortion providers and the women who seek their services.

If you don’t agree with the classification of the struggle’s alleged bravery, well, tough.  Those connected to PBS are smarter than you, which is why they need your money to craft programs that you’re too dumb to know you should watch.

Supporters of the television’s equivalent of the public option will point out that a relatively small portion of their financing comes from the government.  But that portion should be zero unless we want the state effectively endorsing certain positions, as obviously seen here.  If forcing the broadcasting dinosaur to compete means there will be no sequel to Choice: Then and Now, then it’s a double win.

As for now, you’re still funding such unabashed partisanship.  With that in mind, why offer a contribution?  Those who find themselves tuned to WNED only to have programming disrupted by pledge hustlers have a reason to flip the channel even if Goldie Gardner isn’t onscreen.

One Comment
  1. Margaret Sanger would be proud of this publicly funded promotion of abortions…

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