An Unacceptable One-Sided Program on PBS

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) – those of us who live in New York can watch it on channel 13 – presented in its main news bulletin a few days ago a report on the Pope’s visit to Greece and on Greek policies towards refugees/immigrants which raises many serious questions about the program.

I would like to emphasize at the outset that I am among those who faithfully follow this news program because of its objectivity and serious choice of topics it covers – something that is increasingly disappearing from television.

And yet, it shocked me. A five-minute program was devoted to Greece which was neither fundamentally objective nor serious.

I agree that the implementation of Greece’s policy towards immigrants/refugees could be better, as the Pope said in his speeches in Lesvos – and the current policies can also be better presented to the outside world by the government – but this absolutely one-sided segment and the choice of presenter were particularly surprising, at the very least.

As for the issue of objectivity, it is clear that this program was undertaken with a hostile attitude, that it was a premeditated attack. There were constant accusations against Greece and its Prime Minister, at least in terms of the supply and choice of images that must have come from Turkey. And there was no mention at all of Turkey’s role in the channeling of refugees to Greece so that it could blackmail the EU into getting more money.

Unfortunately, the program showed images of the harassment of refugees by the Greek Coast Guard, which should not be happening and which saddens me… but while it is a fact that everyone is judged on their own actions, the complete lack of objectivity of the program can only be called unacceptable.

The second point, perhaps even more incomprehensible for a serious news organization like PBS, is that the presenter of the program, Malcolm Brabant, has a problematic past in terms of mental health issues.

A simple Google search reveals that this good veteran journalist has gone through tough psychological trials, which have even been documented on video by his wife. https://www.channel4.com/news/war-correspondent-malcolm-brabants-mental-health-decline-captured-in-new-documentary.

It is worth watching.

After that, the question is, how did it ‘pass muster’ on PBS, a credible channel, and on such a program – and why?

I’m not saying errors cannot be made, but this seems to go beyond the boundaries of an innocent mistake.


This article is part of a continuing series dealing with reports of Greek POWs in Asia Minor in the Thessaloniki newspaper, Makedonia in July 1936.

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