Magazine article Insight on the News

Liberals Make Their Last Stand on 'Frontline' of Culture War

Magazine article Insight on the News

Liberals Make Their Last Stand on 'Frontline' of Culture War

Article excerpt

The PBS series Frontline recently aired its umpteenth condemnation of our corrupt campaign-finance system, produced by the left-wing San Francisco hippies at the Center for Investigative Reporting, or CIR. They like poking at the big-money begging of both parties.

Come now. How is the CIR any different? This ideologically pure preserve is a government contractor in documentaries, mostly dependent upon tax dollars it has extracted from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to keep the money flowing and pay the mortgage. Frontline, after all, has no private-sector underwriters. CIR was collapsing in 1989 when it was saved by a set of PBS contracts. Its recent life at the government trough would make a good documentary on its own.

But then, good documentaries are not always the specialty of Frontline. On Jan. 16, the show devoted an hour to the rise of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. While it was no all-out bash -- these PBS types are as politically savvy as those corrupt pols they constantly condemn -- it wasn't exactly a thank-you note to Gingrich for knuckling under on privatizing PBS.

PBS has joined that gang -- Tom Brokaw, Connie Chung and Judy Woodruff, among others -- who delight in spreading stories of Gingrich's private life while deploring and smothering stories of our priapic president. Correspondent Peter Boyer described Gingrich's first House win in 1978: "Newt had won by shedding his old politics and his old profile. And many of his old friends -- the reformers, the environmentalists, liberals -- would feel betrayed. And Jackie, a loyal political wife, would soon be discarded as well. A little more than a year later, Newt demanded a divorce." Boyer then turned to a man named Kip Carter, who told of how they had to raise money to feed Gingrich's kids because he wouldn't up needed child support.

Laterfrontline, elevated to national renown a man at a Gingrich book signing who is clearly a "hater," or so he would described if the House speaker were liberal. The man heckled Gingrich: "You profess family values. This is hidden wisdom in the Holy Bible. And I want to know where it says oral sex doesn't counts adultery. Id like you to sign it because, you know, you've been cheating on your wife. You've been crying family values. I don't know where it says oral sex is moral while you're trying to take away children's rights and children's benefits." That gave the House speaker a fresh taste of what PBS can be all about: a tax-funded liberal outlet for character assassination. …

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