US Censorship Thwart's Film Highlighting Israel's Human Rights On All Major US Networks
March 3, 2002 -- The rejection of Australian journalist John Pilger's award-winning documentary, "Palestine is still the issue", by established corporate media outlets in the US -- ABC, CBS, NBC, and the cables, CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews -- was hardly a surprise. In fact, in this circus atmosphere of hysteria, with the old networks and cable news vying to emulate the demagogic FoxNews, it would have been a minor shock, at least, if any of them had had the courage to pick it up. But what is disconcerting is that even PBS, the self-proclaimed network of the public, has decided to take a pass on this very important documentary.
Please ask PBS why they have chosen to go with the corporate flow. Is it because they believe that the American public knows all that needs to be known about the conflict, or its because the documentary scrambles the neat story about Israel's actions and dares to cross the line of the "acceptable" by SHOWING how "a pregnant woman delivers a premature child on the floor of a car after being turned back on the way to the hospital by Israeli soldiers. The child subsequently dies;" or its because it "recounts how the U.S. has indirectly sanctioned the Israeli policy of what many Palestinians think of as daily institutional 'terrorism' against them;" or is it because Pilger does not mince his words and says such things as, "Israel, is the American watchdog in the Middle East... Its policies are so integrated with American policies that they use the same language. If you read Sharon's statements and Bush's statements, they are virtually identical."
Why won't PBS respect its "Public" and allow them access to what the rest of the world can readily see? What is PBS afraid of?
Please drop PBS a line and insist, in your capacity as a member of the "Public", that you would like your programming suggestions to be take seriously and that you don't appreciate them acting as proxy censors.
Their general email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and their phone no. is 703.739.5000.
But it would be best that you contacted your local PBS station. For contact information to local stations, see: http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html
You can also write them at:
Public Broadcasting Service
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314
Emmy Award-Winning Documentarian's Film Rejected by All Other U.S. Networks
(San Francisco, February 24, 2003)- As The Economist recently reported, the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian crisis-not Iraq-is "still the defining issue for the Arab world." Yet news about the continuing violence in the region has fallen off the front pages of U.S. newspapers and no longer leads television newscasts. And if it is covered in America, the Palestine perspective is rarely provided. until now!
Thanks to Emmy-award winning documentary maker, John Pilger and WorldLink TV, American audiences can-for the first time-see the powerful new film, Palestine Is Still the Issue on Sunday, March 9 at 9:00 PM ET.
Rejected by all major US networks, including PBS, Palestine Is Still the Issue documents the plight of Palestinians after 36 years of Israeli occupation. The film is part of WorldLink TV's Spotlight, a series of weekly investigative reports from around the world. Palestine Is Still the Issue has aired in 30 countries all over the world except the US. According to Spotlight host Mark Hertsgaard, 'If it weren't for WorldLink TV, this important film would not reach the American public at all."
In a series of extraordinary interviews with both Palestinians and Israelis, filmmaker Pilger weaves together the strands of despair typical of daily Palestinian existence. He speaks to the families of suicide bombers and their victims, visits overcrowded, unsanitary refugee camps, and documents the abuse and neglect of Palestinians by Israeli guards at the military roadblocks which now proliferate throughout the occupied territories. As the film shows, Palestinians are regularly harassed, beaten, denied passage to hospitals for medical care, and even murdered at these checkpoints. In one episode, a pregnant woman delivers a premature child on the floor of a car after being turned back on the way to the hospital by Israeli soldiers. The child subsequently dies.
The film also recounts how the U.S. has indirectly sanctioned the Israeli policy of what many Palestinians think of as daily institutional "terrorism" against them. "Israel, is the American watchdog in the Middle East..." Pilger says. "Its policies are so integrated with American policies that they use the same language. If you read Sharon's statements and Bush's statements, they are virtually identical."
About John Pilger: John Pilger is an Australian journalist, author, and filmmaker based in London who has made 25 documentaries, including films about Iraq, East Timor, and Cambodia. The Cambodian film, Cambodia: The Betrayal, was also rejected by PBS for its content but was later picked up by WNET in New York. Based on that single airing, the film won the 1990 Emmy
Award for Best International Documentary. Pilger's films have been shown all over the world, but rarely in the U.S. "The censorship on television in the U.S. is such that films like mine don't stand a chance," he explains. Recently, Pilger has been very outspoken in condemning the Bush Administration's plans for war in Iraq. "September 11 has given these people, this clique, an opportunity from heaven. They never believed they would have the legitimacy to do what they are doing."
WorldLink Spotlight will follow up this controversial film with a discussion of the issues it raises in the next few weeks. "WorldLink is committed to fostering dialogue around points of view and ideas not heard on main stream media," said Jack Willis, WorldLink's Senior Vice President of Programming.
About WorldLink TV: Since its inception in December 1999, and especially since September 11, WorldLink TV, has been making a name for itself as an important alternative to the mainstream television networks. With offices in San Francisco, New York, and DC, WorldLink TV is accessible nationwide to more than 19 million households on satellite channels Direct TV Channel
375 and DISH Network Channel 9410. WorldLink TV also streams select original programming on its website. For additional information, go to www.worldlinktv.org.
To request a copy of Palestine is Still the Issue, please contact Bullfrog Films: Tel: 610/779-8226 Fax: 610/370-1978
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