Public Television Under Attack

After South Carolina Educational Television (PBS) aired a 26 minute documentary on homosexuality, in which it was designed to promote tolerance and understanding, a SC Republican state Representative has decided to try and defund them.

“I thought it was just social, leftist propaganda that they had no business airing,” said state Rep. John Graham Altman, R-Charleston. “As soon as the session starts,” he said, “I’m going after them.”

SC Educational Television runs on a $12.7 Million dollar budget per year, and this documentary wasn’t even paid for; it was funded by an outside source.

Nothing like taking a lesson on tolerance and promoting an environment of hate! Bastards. SC Public Television Under Fire Over Gay Documentary
by The Associated Press

Posted: November 29,2004 12:01 am ET

(Charleston, South Carolina) A state legislator says he wants to cut South Carolina Educational Television’s budget after it aired a documentary on gays in the South.

“I thought it was just social, leftist propaganda that they had no business airing,” said state Rep. John Graham Altman, R-Charleston. “They were actively promoting homosexuality as an OK thing to do.”

SCETV President Maurice Bresnahan says his agency isn’t promoting any agenda by showing “We are your Neighbors” as part of its twice-monthly Southern Lens series of stories about life in the South.

“An analogy would be a librarian buying books for the bookshelf. ‘We are your Neighbors’ was just one 26-minute show out of 8,700 hours of programming. We are just presenting a point of view. This is just one book on a shelf of thousands of books,” Bresnahan said.

Sunhead Projects, which produced the documentary, said they intended to promote acceptance through understanding.

The Southern Lens series has featured documentaries on Moon Pies and Holocaust survivors in South Carolina.

Another documentary, “Sentencing the Victim,” focused on the hardships victims endure during criminal trials. The movie, which featured a Charleston woman, is credited with spurring legislators to address shortcomings in the legal process to ease victims’ burden.

All of the documentaries are independently financed and cost the state nothing.

Altman sees the “Neighbors” documentary as an effort to promote a “militant homosexual agenda.”

Altman says if SCETV can afford to produce such programs to influence the Legislature, then it can afford to have its budget cut. The agency runs on a budget of $12.7 million, down from $20.3 million four years ago.

“As soon as the session starts,” he said, “I’m going after them.”

Bresnahan says his agency isn’t promoting an agenda.

“Our purpose is to provide an outlet for independent filmmakers and to give an outlook rarely seen on television,” he said.

During his re-election bid this year, Altman sent out fund-raising letters pointing out his Democratic opponent, Charlie Smith, was openly gay. Altman also is pushing legislation to strengthen the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

©Associated Press 2004

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