Friday, November 16, 2007

Controversy over Nova episode on intelligent design case

Judgment Day, the PBS/Nova's show on Dover's intelligent design trial has aired. For those who were part of it, what played out for two hours on the television set could never fully capture (but indeed, came as close as I think anyone could) to this amazing experience. (Full disclosure - I appear in the show.)

However, in something of an ironic twist, the show seems to have sparked a bit of a brouhaha over censorship. In Tennessee, the land of the Scopes Monkey Trial, the subject was deemed too controversial for Memphis public broadcast viewers. Sigh. While most of the country was able to watch the show on local Public Broadcasting System stations (or, as the oh-so-irked Discovery Institute likes to refer to it, "The Propaganda Broadcasting System." Oh my goodness, Casey. It's funny because it's so clever.), folks there watched a post-Veterans Day show on WWII.

To their credit, many viewers are not pleased.

According to the article in The Memphis Commercial Appeal, "in response to one viewer complaint, WKNO program manager Debi Robertson said Wednesday that while the 'Nova' episode reported the outcome of the trial and the arguments during the trial it 'might look particularly one-sided to most of our audience.' " As the letter writers correctly point out, the station's decision to protect viewers from information with which they might or might not disagree, is an abdication of public television's commitments and responsibilities. It smacks of condescending paternalism of the worst kind.

The good news, however, is that overall, most stations had no qualms about airing the show. According to Paula Apsell, the show's senior executive producer, "the pick-up of this show in the PBS system at large was terrific." Ninety-eight percent of the top fifty markets aired it.

And while we're on the subject, (Well, sort of related) the Flying Spaghetti Monster is on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting this weekend.

The discussion's title? "Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody."

Lauri in York


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who missed this excelent show (or who had it supressed in their neak of the woods) can watch it here:

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how the ultra-Xians look at the outcome of the trial as "one-sided"? Somehow, FACTS seem to get in the way of belief, and therefore, the facts have to be withheld from the poor simple-minded souls who might get confused about what's provable and what's belief.

But it really IS a good thing most of the country had no problem seeing it. Science and facts should never be hidden just because some people can't handle them.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things They Don’t Teach You in Law School

1. Who did Jesus say takes away the key to knowledge?

Lawyers because they practice Law

2. What is necessary to punish a criminal?

Where there is no law. There is no punishment – Romans 4

3. Will a just judge let a law breaker go free even if they say they are sorry?

I will not at all let the guilty go free. – Nahum 1:3

4. Why do you think God is going to let you go for breaking his laws?

Most men will proclaim their own goodness – Proverbs 20

5. Have you ever told just one lie?

All liars go to the lake of fire. Fail one part of the law and you fail the whole law.

Revelation 21 | James 2

6. What does God define as sin?

Sin is breaking the law. The Ten Commandments – 1 John 3

7. Who will remind God of every sin you ever committed at death?

Satan which accuses them before God day and night – Revelation 12

8. Did you know Isaiah has the physical evidence on you?

12 for 12 He does not miss –

9. How can you escape the damnation of Hell? – Matthew 26

Law breakers get punished without the attorney that paid their fine.

“Now we know that the law says to those who are under the law.
That every mouth will be shut and you will stand guilty before God.”
- Romans 3

6:37 AM  

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