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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gaffney wins -- "Islam vs. Islamicists" to air on PBS

First, a note to our readers: We're sorry we haven't been keeping up with the site the last couple of days. We're both a bit under the weather here. You gotta love these summer colds. My voice is nearly gone, and Marcie's left for parts unknown yesterday.

But to the good news... Bryan blogging over at Hot Air noticed that PBS has come to an agreement over airing the documentary that had been in limbo for months:

A documentary billed as "the film PBS doesn't want you to see" will at long last get a national audience.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announced a joint agreement yesterday to make "Islam vs. Islamists" available to the 354 Public Broadcasting Service member stations across the nation as a "stand-alone" TV program, with a little extra embellishment.

"We plan to distribute the film to any public broadcasting station that wants it. We'll package it and also produce some sort of discussion to accompany the film, and give it some context," OPB President Steve Bass told The Washington Times yesterday.

"There has been a lot of debate on whether this program needed editing. Some said yes, some no. When you're dealing with an object of controversy, it is better to let the audience draw their own conclusions," Mr. Bass said.

"As stewards of the investment in public broadcasting, this fulfills our responsibility to the taxpayer," CPB President Patricia Harrison said yesterday.

The often-disquieting 52-minute film explores the struggles of moderate American Muslims at the hands of their radical brethren and gives details about a "parallel" Islamist society that is slowly but surely developing within the U.S. borders. The film was produced by conservative columnist Frank Gaffney Jr., founder of the Center for Security Policy, filmmaker Martyn Burke and Middle East scholar Alex Alexiev.

Originally made for the six-part PBS series "America at a Crossroads," the film was intended for broadcast in early April. It never made it to the air, however. The producers, who received $675,000 in funding, said their work was shelved in "an ideological vendetta" and stifled on "political grounds."

They offered critical production notes from PBS as evidence. The lengthy notes said, among other things, that the documentary "demonized Islam" and promoted fear of Islamist organizations.

"This is a well-documented, textbook case of the abuse of taxpayer funding by elements in the public broadcasting system to advocate their agenda and ensure that people who have a different agenda don't get on the air," Mr. Gaffney said at the time. "The public ought to be allowed to see a film which PBS doesn't want them to see."

The producers have staged several private screenings for lawmakers and journalists to make their point. After the announcement yesterday, the audience could be considerably larger.

The "Oregon solution" was a gracious resolution to the situation, one broadcast source said.

The details have not been hammered out, but OPB's Mr. Bass anticipates that the documentary -- and its extra taped discussion -- will be made available nationwide in the next few months.

We have listened to the interviews conducted by Hugh Hewitt regarding Mr. Gaffney's project and all the pitfalls he seemed to run into trying to get the thing aired. In the day and age of global Islamofascist terrorism, this is a must-see piece of work. Mr. Gaffney noted in a recent interview with Hugh that he was holding a private screening for members of Congress, if they were interested. Needless to say, the reaction was a bit overwhelming:

Members of Congress are weighing in on public broadcasting executives' decision to shelve a documentary on the struggles moderate Muslims in the West face at the hands of radicals.

A special screening of the film "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center" for members of Congress was sponsored Wednesday evening by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). The screening drew about 150 people, said Martyn Burke, one of the producers.

"People came up to us afterward asking 'how can we help,'" Burke told Cybercast News Service.

Something must have worked, whether it was those in Congress, or the hard work of grass-roots minded people calling and giving their opinions to the people at PBS, because the documentary will air. PBS has said they must find those affiliates willing to air it, and work out dates and times, but the hard work of Mr. Gaffney and Company will finally be able to be seen.

Publius II


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