PBS Viewers Upset That a Conservative Was Allowed to Give His Opinion on the Public Station

Mick Gregory

Look at how horrified PBS fans are at the tax-payer supported “public” TV station. They actually had a conservative on the opinion segment of “New Hour.” That shows me it very rarely is allowed. Someone must have been on sabatical.

These are Progressive Democrats. The ones that strongly believe the debate is over, if you don’t agree with them. That is a good definition of narrow minded bigot.

I am an avid watcher of your program and I have not written you with my praises so it is difficult to write with my complaints, but I must. The discussion of torture in the “Shields and Lowry” segment was not acceptable and the remarks of Rich Lowry were shameful and deeply disturbing. Does your station endorse the views of Mr. Lowry? Mr. Lowry approved and defended the use of torture, an illegal activity under US and international law. Torture is in the same category as rape or murder; not an option for interrogation. I am, frankly, horrified that your show would pay someone to spread such a despicable point of view. He even brought up the subject again to expand upon his original endorsement and strengthen it. Thank you for a great program 99% of the time!

David Hennessey, Proctor, MN

You idiot, the practice isn’t water boarding, but a pschological act to have the terrorist believe he is being water boarded. No terrorists are harmed in the video!

I can’t believe that you have Rich Lowry on the show actually talking in support of water-boarding. Lowry is a poor substitute for David Brooks. I am outraged that someone would condone torture as an OK thing, and that’s a slippery slope. We are surely in moral trouble if he represents any kind of substantial constituency, and if he doesn’t then he ought not to be on your show.

MB Markham, Arlington, VA

The PBS ombudsman to his credit, states the facts, that Rich Lowry was a fill-in for the opinon segment and gave his opinion.

On Nov. 2, Ray Suarez was sitting in on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He was talking with Mark Shields and a young man named Rick, as David Brooks (no relation to me) was off. The young reporter with blithe arrogance condoned torture, insisted nothing was wrong with it “when needed” and said he’d be willing to volunteer for two minutes of waterboarding. Please rethink having such a callous, offensive “reporter” on PBS again. He gives journalism an ugly face not to mention the total disregard this young man has for democracy. Ray looked embarrassed. Mark Shields was obviously disgusted. Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour is the most informed and dignified news we have in our country. Send this Rick over to Fox News and then he’ll understand torture for himself.

Jacquelyn Brooks, Gloucester, MA

I STRONGLY object to Rich Lowry as the substitute commentator. He is either ignorant or a liar or both. In the discussion on waterboarding, he says that it is not torture. That is a lie, according to the Army manual, to the Geneva Conventions, to John McCain, to countless others. Are you pandering to the Bush Administration? If you don’t have him as the substitute, will they cancel you? Give us an honest person. Where are your editorial standards?

Chapel Hill, NC

Here’s the NewsHour’s Response

This is from Executive Producer Linda Winslow: “A number of viewers wrote to complain about Rich Lowry’s endorsement of waterboarding as an interrogation tactic on Friday. In most cases, the viewers wanted to know why he was allowed to express his opinion — which they vehemently disagreed with — on The NewsHour. Here’s the answer to that question: Rich was filling in for our regular commentator, David Brooks, and participating in our regular Friday night analysis of the week’s biggest developments. Like David, Rich leans toward Republican positions but, like Mark, he isn’t expected to spout the “party line” on every event. He is encouraged to express his own opinions, which is what he did Friday. Although many prominent Republicans have denounced waterboarding, Rich is not the only person in Washington espousing the position he took. Some of them are members of the Bush administration. We think it is important that our viewers hear that argument, whether they agree with one side or the other. I think Mark Shields actively took the position held by the viewers who were offended by Rich Lowry’s opinion. And I think Ray Suarez moderated their debate even-handedly. Below is the link to our web site if you’d like to review the transcript.” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec07/slmukasey_11-02.html

(Ombudsman’s Note: This seems like an easy one. Lowry appeared on the weekly analysis and opinion portion of this program. Lowry gave his opinion. That’s what this is supposed to be about. They opine, you decide.)


10 thoughts on “PBS Viewers Upset That a Conservative Was Allowed to Give His Opinion on the Public Station

  1. You cannot reason with the unreasonable. I find that 99% of socialist liberals have never truly experienced the ugly side of life outside of what the MSM shows them. Let them spend a little time with me in the Afghani country side viewing the poppies, or the rape of little boys and let’s not forget those smiling faces with RPG’s on their backs. Passivist get what they deserve sooner or later.

  2. That’s it. TRM is making it all up. Islam is the religion of peace. More than 3,000 were not killed by Islamic terrorists on 9/ll. BIG BROTHER and BIG SIS will tax the rich and make your lives better.

  3. Saudi Arabs, your best friends, were allegedly responsible for the 9/11 incident, not Afghanis or Iraqis. This is a well established fact, although both nations have now come to despise us all.

    We’ve had this discussion before. I wonder (as always) if any of you Islamophobes have ever actually met a Muslim? Religious fundamentalism is a problem, but I’d be just as afraid of Christian fundamentalists in your own country, who seem to think Genesis is a valid scientific position, Jesus is about to return and the Apocalypse if upon us. Organized religion as a whole is the root of all evil, including Christianity.

  4. Hi Terry,,,
    Yes I have met a muslim, heck I’ve met thousands, lived with them, ate Ramadan meals with them, fought along side them and killed a few that were trying to kill me. Let’s not comapre life experiences though, it’s kinda jouvenile don’t you think?
    I cannot believe I am about to do this but I agree with you regarding any radical group, no matter what religion they hide behind. And yes, religion does tend to cause lot’s of trouble. Excuse me………

    OK, I had to go take a shower and brush my teeth after having agreed with a liberal socialist(D) 🙂

    For you not to recognize that there is an organized, ruthless, patient and very cunning group (Islamic Radicals) that is actively seeking our violent destruction, then stay in denial my friend, I have plenty of ammo…. I got your back

  5. Well, that’s the most honest response that I’ve ever heard from an illiberal conservative (lol). I completely accept your opinion. Of course, there are Islamic extremists in the world and I’m all for stamping them out, but I say let’s address the root of the problem and not add any more fuel to the fire. We should deal with Christian and Jewish extremism as well if it’s to truly be a fight against religious bigotry. I hope that one day in the far future, religion will be cast aside and remembered as a historical blunder, like when we all thought the world was flat.

    You protect my life and I’ll protect your civil liberties, then we both win. 🙂

    Now I need to wash my mouth out…

  6. Good, I agree any extremist hiding behind religion should be stopped and definately not allowed access to our schools and young. Christians and Jews are not trying to kill us though. Just so you know, I am not an athiest, I embrace the teachings of all religions to include the mystic’s and ancient’s.

  7. I can’t agree with Terry in that all relgions are bad; there is one relgion involved with killing infidels and has been trying to conquer the world with war for 1700 years.

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