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Friday, April 27, 2007

Latino Pols Take Aim at PBS

So, this is more interesting than what's usually in the pile of press releases we get on a Friday afternoon:
A raft of the city’s Latino state legislators is up in arms over an upcoming 14-hour PBS documentary by Ken Burns on World War II.
The lawmakers say the film, set to air this fall, ignores the Hispanic American experience in the war.
“We had hoped that as the leader of the nation’s taxpayer supported educational television network, you would embrace your core educational mission,” the legislators wrote in a letter to Paula Kerger, president of PBS. “To first ignore and then relegate to an afterthought, the contributions of more than a half million Latino GIs who fought and died in Europe, North and Asia, and of our families who supported the war effort on the home front represents a stunning failure to educate.”
The officials also said they were troubled by “what appears to be a pattern with similar Ken Burns PBS projects like “Baseball” and “Jazz.”
Firing a shot across the Network’s bow, the legislators said they and their colleagues in local and federal government should examine their funding of PBS, and focus their energies on nurturing “alternative educational television networks, producers and program[ing] which authentically comes from and serves our community.”
Among the Bronx lawmakers who signed the letter, were Assemblymen Jose Rivera and Luis Diaz, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, and State Senators Efrain Gonzalez and Jose M. Serrano.
We're waiting for a response from PBS. We'll let you know what they say.


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