PBS ombudsman wades into Fey fray

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Producers made “a big mistake, one that was virtually certain to come back and bit them and PBS,” by editing out Tina Fey’s remarks about conservative women during during her acceptance speech for the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize on Nov. 9, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler writes in today’s (Nov. 18) column. The broadcast on PBS Sunday (Nov. 14) ran 22 minutes long, one of the producer, Peter Kaminsky, told Getler. Producers had only 24 hours to trim the show. “We had no problem with anything she [Fey] said,” Kaminsky said. “It was a humor judgment call forced by time.”

But several letter writers figured that “excuse” might come up. As one said, “It’s your prerogative to choose the programming you air; however, it’s not your prerogative to edit out those comments with which you disagree. And please don’t quote ‘time issues.’ Either run it or not.”