Several national newspapers praised the four-hour PBS Frontline series beginning Tuesday night titled "News War," on how Team Bush (and Team Nixon before that) undemocratically waged war on the press. There's not much on whether the press was undemocratically waging war on the elected president in those cases. (Who, pray tell, voted for the New York Times to run the country?) The man setting the table for the first two hours is Arun Rath, who the South Asian Journalists Association website jokingly notes "acquired a semi-classical education at Reed College in Oregon ('Atheism, Communism and Free Love')." What a surprise for an NPR/PBS producer.
In a new interview on the SAJA website, Rath explained how he was somehow completely incapable of tracking down conservatives to comment on the show's arrogant liberal thesis, namely that the press is crucial to save democracy from freedom-crushing Republicans:
We tried without success for nearly a year to get someone from the administration to talk to us, but at the last minute we scored an interview with Dan Bartlett. That, and a number of other key interviews came about from simple persistence and effort over a long time by a number of producers.
We were originally going to feature a lot more about the rise of conservative media in this series, but it just wouldn’t fit in the end; plus we’d tried without success to get interviews with the big names at Fox News, and to talk about conservative media without such key players (Rush Limbaugh et al also turned us down) felt a little weak.
Suffice it to say PBS has not contacted the news watchers at the MRC. It's probably also easily guessed they didn't call the many conservative talk show hosts and members of Congress who could build up a decent head of steam about the arrogance of Obama-worshipping newspapers who wage war on the war on terror.
CORRECTION: The following sentence was incorrect: "Suffice it to say PBS has not contacted the news watchers at the MRC." Frontline executive editor Louis Wiley protested that they had. I asked our publicists, and they located an e-mail from April 2006, requesting a 90-minute interview with MRC president Brent Bozell, which was refused. I was not aware of the request, and I was wrong.