PBS ombud: Airing Perle film an “abdication of journalistic principle”

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PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler thought several of the America at a Crossroads films were excellent and described one in particular, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, as “one of the most gripping hours I’ve spent in front of the tube in quite a while.” But he also agreed with critics and viewers who blasted PBS for giving an hour to neocon adviser Richard Perle during the series. The decision to re-present the initial case for a war “that has, at the very least, gone badly” instead of examining what went wrong and where the powers that be should go from here represents a “stunning avoidance of the real crossroad that we are at,” Getler wrote. He also criticized the series’ lack of substantive discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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