“Did PBS Bury an Expose on Torture?”

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In a posting on The Daily Beast, the new website from former New Yorker editor Tina Brown, Scott Horton wonders whether PBS’s decision not to air the documentary Torturing Democracy (by Sherry Jones) is connected to the Bush Administration’s propositions to slash PBS funding. More than half of pubTV stations are airing the doc independently tomorrow night because “PBS would not run the show–at least not until President Bush has left office,” says Horton, who writes on legal and national security affairs for Harper’s Magazine. The doc, which digs deep into the administration’s torture policies, “was completed and circulated to PBS decision makers on schedule in May of this year. Their response? According to [Jones], PBS told her that ‘no time slot could be found for the documentary before January 21, 2009’–the day after George W. Bush and Dick Cheney leave office. Does that reflect concert that PBS would face retaliation from the Bush Administration for airing the program?” Horton says PBS and WETA, which is not airing the program, have not responded to requests for comment.

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