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Old February 19, 2013, 08:05 PM   #1
Evan Thomas
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Two programs on PBS tonight

Starting at 9:00 EST -- A program called "After Newtown: Guns in America," followed by a new episode of Frontline called "Raising Adam Lanza."

Should be interesting....

(I typed "Frontlie" at first -- Freudian slip?)
Edited to add:
There are two more in the same vein starting at 9:00 EST on Weds...
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Last edited by Evan Thomas; February 19, 2013 at 09:05 PM. Reason: wrong time - :eek:.
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Old February 19, 2013, 11:49 PM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up.

I taped a PBS show about Newtown last night but hadn't watched it yet. Your post alerted me to the fact they are doing a week long investigation and this is a different show than what I had taped. Thanks again for the notice.
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Old February 19, 2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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I watched them both. They were very very bland.
In the past, I've learned a lot from PBS/Frontline on various topics.
But not from these two shows...

They were light on details and heavy on camera angles.

The first, attempting to show the evolution of America's gun culture and laws, was a mish-mash of small historical anecdotes that came off to me as poorly researched and hastily put together... It didn't have a handle on the material at all.

The second, attempting to give insight into Adam Lanza and his Mom brought a few things to light by following a couple of mediocre newspaper reporters around as they interviewed some people who had contact with them. But it reminded me of the old "where's the beef?" commercials. I felt like I got to know the mediocre reporters quite well but the paucity of actual facts and details about the events was disappointing.

It seemed mostly about "moods"... Very little substance.

To me, reporting in general in this country ain't what it used to be.

Both shows felt lazy... lackadaisical... with the emphasis on lack.

The San Francisco Chronical calls the AFTER NEWTOWN show "riveting"... whatever...

Tomorrow night is MIND OF A RAMPAGE KILLER.

My expectations are low.
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Old February 20, 2013, 11:43 AM   #4
Evan Thomas
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CWKahrFan, I think you have it about right.

I'd add a couple of things: the first show, "Guns in America," was a lot less biased than I'd expected: it seemed that the folks who made it did try to be fair, and overall, I thought the pro-gun folks came off rather better than the antis. And one reason it seemed a bit bland, I think, was that they stayed away from the typical knee-jerk emotional stuff -- heart-wrenching interviews with survivors of gun violence, and interviews with the "average gun nut" with the punchline that he (or she ) is actually carrying a gun at that moment (Horrors!).

I'd a lot rather they kept it bland, fair, and informative -- keeping in mind that it would have been more informative for the average viewer who pays less attention to all this than we do.

And, yes, the program on Adam Lanza was sort of pathetic -- not really any new information about him, and some pretty unsurprising stuff about his mother -- nothing that shed any real light. Much is being made of the "new" information that he had a diagnosis of "sensory integration disorder," but as I understand it, that can be an aspect of autism, so I'm not sure that counts as new.

I watched it hoping that they'd say something about recent reports that investigators found pictures and newspaper clippings about Anders Breivik in Lanza's room, but there was not a word about that.

And the second half of the Frontline episode could have been summed up in one sentence: "People in Newtown are divided over gun control." Wow.

Both seemed mostly like attempts to cash in on a hot topic -- another reminder that news reporting is these days is more about ratings than about providing information or intelligent analysis.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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I saw the the promos for that on PBS.. I didn't watch it just for that reason.
The crazy kid's face splashed at every (commercial ) break.
it certainly is a hot topic here in Connecticut.

in the past I've usually been a big fan of PBS and many Frontline specials, but it seems just to be bottom of the barrel scraping

I can't comment, but IMO mostly drivel..
I don't understand the program, it's broadcast timing, and
'reason' for being created anyway..

just muck raking ? Fanning the flames ?

glorifying a killer ? splashing his name all over ?

I don't see the point.

The poor families should be left alone
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Connecticut was the Cradle of the Gun Industry, NOW it is just a Pine Box,
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Old February 20, 2013, 02:42 PM   #6
Evan Thomas
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Originally Posted by adamc
I saw the the promos for that on PBS.. I didn't watch it just for that reason.
The crazy kid's face splashed at every (commercial ) break.
It looks like both programs are running again on Thursday evening.

"Guns in America," at least, is worth a look. Not glorifying anything, and possibly informative for the average PBS viewer.

They're running related shows all week, for the obvious reason that these are subjects that will get many people to watch.

I'm curious about tonight's episode of NOVA, "Mind of a Rampage Killer" -- as I know, or used to, a fair bit about neuroscience. (If nothing else, they'll be working from sort of a small sample size. )
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:12 PM   #7
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PBS; Frontline....

I've always enjoyed PBS's Frontline series. For the US media in general, Frontline is first-rate & has good content. They are fair & researched too.

I watched the PBS-Frontline ep about the Washington DC schools & the high profile educator they got to run the programs.

I also remember a episode of NBC's hit drama; The West Wing doing a Frontline type documentary complete with the same VO guy.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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Watched them both.....crafty technique of demonizing guns. First they try to educate the viewer with historical background, then they cut to an emotional theme by talking about the increased "deaths" the gun brought. This goes back and forth.....history-then-death.....history-then-death. Viewer is left with the implication that guns equal death. Guess it's to be expected from a government funded propaganda station.
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