Mar
24
2011

Public TV and Libya: Govt. Officials, Current and Former

Last night (3/24/11) Jim Lehrer introduced a NewsHour discussion segment about the Libya War:

Now, how it looks to two former U.S. senators, Democrat Gary Hart of Colorado and Republican Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Senator Hart is now a scholar in residence at the University of Colorado and chair of the Defense Department's Threat Reduction Advisory Council. Senator Coleman is CEO of the American Action Network, an issue advocacy organization that supports Republican candidates and policies.

The same broadcastfeatured an interview with Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough.

Monday's broadcast featured this segment:

JIM LEHRER: Now some perspective on the Mideast turmoil from two former U.S. national security advisers. Zbigniew Brzezinski held that post for President Carter. He's now a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Brent Scowcroft had that same job during the George H.W. Bush administration. He now has his own consulting firm.

And also this one:

GWEN IFILL: Now, for a closer look at the situation in Libya, we turn to retired Maj. Gen. Dutch Remkes. He spent 32 years in the Air Force, including service — service as a top commander of Operation Northern Watch, the no-fly zone over Iraq. And Robert Malley, he served as director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He's now Middle East and North Africa program director at the International Crisis Group.

That's a lot of Official Voices–exactly the sorts of folks well represented everywhere else in the media. PBS exists (in theory at least) to bring us something more. Unfortunately, this sort of coverage is par for the course on the NewsHour.

UPDATE: Last night's NewsHour:

JEFFREY BROWN: And we assess the military campaign in Libya now.

For that, we're joined by retired Army Gen. Jack Keane. He was Army vice chief of staff when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. He now has his own consulting firm. And Frederic Wehrey is a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. As an Air Force Reserve officer, he served as a military attache in Libya in 2009 and then earlier this year.

Keane favors putting U.S.Special Forceson the ground in Libya. Wehrey, on the other hand, agrees with that idea.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.