Report: PBS Drags Feet on Airing Torture Doc

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PBS delayed the national air date of a controversial documentary until after the new president takes over, reports the NY Times. A handful of public broadcasting stations will air Torturing Democracy in the coming weeks (WNET airs it tonight), but PBS said no national slot was available until Jan. 21. 

Filmmaker Sherry Jones, with help from Bill Moyers, is petitioning stations directly to air Torturing sooner than later. She’s also made it available in its entirety at torturingdemocracy.org

The 90-minute film "explores the evolution of United States policy and internal administration battles over the use of coercive interrogation techniques on military detainees, including suspected terrorists. Interview subjects include former government and military officials and former detainees; several current administration officials declined to participate." 

According to the Times, PBS received Jones’ film May 5. In late August, PBS, which relies partly on federal money, cited "scheduling difficulties" and said it couldn’t offer a national air slot until Jan. 21. 

PBS says it’s "absolutely coincidental" that the program’s proposed air date is the day after the Bush administration leaves the White House.

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