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The Mailbag: Tavis Smiley, President Obama and Race

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


After 2,000 shows on PBS, Tavis Smiley still knows how to stir things up. In the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict, he questions President Obama’s role in combatting racism. That stirs up some viewers and gets the ombudsman’s attention. Continue


The Mailbag: Hey! It’s NBR but Not PBS

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


A weeknight fixture for more than 30 years on public broadcasting stations, the Nightly Business Report was bought by cable powerhouse CNBC last month. So far, viewers writing to the ombudsman don’t like the new style and content. Continue


The Mailbag: Ask Not What Larry Can Do For You …

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


The ombudsman writes: “Ask not what Larry can do for you” but what you can do for Larry. Buy his software. That approach got viewers a little exercised this week, along with some other things. Continue


The Mailbag: Did You Need to Know This About Taxes?

Image of The Mailbag: Did You Need to Know This About Taxes?
PBS Ombudsman
PBS


A “Need to Know” look at our tax system through the eyes of four taxpayers, and a brief “ NewsHour” excerpt meant to call attention to the full program, brings some critical viewer attention to both programs. Continue


The Mailbag: Grover, Sonia, the Cliff and the Download

Image of The Mailbag: Grover, Sonia, the Cliff and the Download
PBS Ombudsman
PBS


Viewers say enough already with the fiscal cliff, don’t like giving no-tax Norquist time on the NewsHour, and say a Sesame Street star should keep her opinions to herself. Other than that, it’s pretty quiet. Continue


When Short-Hand and Off-Hand Is Not Enough

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


For a handful of viewers, using short-hand or off-hand remarks on the air doesn’t work. A NewsHour interview about the film “Selma” gets questioned, and more on not seeing those Muhammad drawings. The ombudsman ponders all of this. Continue


TTC Extra: Oscars Lacking Diversity

Image of TTC Extra: Oscars Lacking Diversity
To The Contrary
PBS


The vast majority of the nominees to the Academy Awards were white males, while notable females and minorities were snubbed. PANEL: Sam Bennett; Darlene Kennedy; Aisha Moodie-Mills; Sabrina Schaeffer Continue


Terrorism; Transgender Discrimination; Domestic Trafficking

Image of Terrorism; Transgender Discrimination; Domestic Trafficking
To The Contrary
PBS


Terrorism: Why women and girls join terrorist organizations like ISIS. Transgender Discrimination: The policies surrounding discrimination of transgender people. Domestic Trafficking: The story of one survivor of whose sex trafficking was inter-generational. PANEL: Sam Bennett; Darlene Kennedy; Aisha Moodie-Mills; Sabrina Schaeffer Continue


TTC Extra: Agent Carter

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To The Contrary
PBS


ABC's attempt towards making the superhero genre more woman-friendly. PANEL: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton; Genevieve Wood; Erin Matson; Rina Shah Bharara Continue


The Mailbag: A Bit of Holiday Jeer

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


A couple of viewers challenge the way a couple of touchy news stories were handled and the ombudsman agrees that an extra couple of words would have helped. Continue


Cancer Is ‘Serious Business.’ Is the ‘Documentary’?

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


PBS responds to a program it didn’t distribute as a Colorado station airs another controversial “documentary” during pledge period, this time about a purported cure for some cancers. The ombudsman lets it all hang out. Continue


Drones Are Real. So Are Perceptions.

Image of Drones Are Real. So Are Perceptions.
PBS Ombudsman
PBS


Lockheed Martin’s role among funders of NOVA’s look at the “Rise of the Drones” gets a rise out of critics and the ombudsman. The program is good, he says, but the funding and transparency not so good. Continue


'This Show Needs To Be Aired Again and Again Until . . .'

Image of 'This Show Needs To Be Aired Again and Again Until . . .'
PBS Ombudsman
PBS


A Frontline investigation about why no Wall Street financiers faced criminal fraud prosecution by the Feds following the 2008 mortgage meltdown brings an interesting suggestion from a viewer. Continue


Michelle Rhee: Reformer, Zealot, Both or Something Else?

Image of Michelle Rhee: Reformer, Zealot, Both or Something Else?
PBS Ombudsman
PBS


Michelle Rhee, the controversial and high-profile former school chief in Washington, DC, is the subject of a Frontline investigation, with a new interviewee who deepens the controversy over alleged grade tampering. Continue


TTC Extra: Women & Minorities Speaking First in Class

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To The Contrary
PBS


A panel of professors at a Canadian university think that, by rule, women & minority students should be called on before white males. They say this will help fight misogyny and racism. PANEL: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sabrina Schaeffer, Debra Carnahan, Francesca Chambers Continue


Gunning for Frontline

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


Frontline moves beyond the traditional gun debate to provide a valuable report on the NRA’s political smarts and effectiveness. Some viewers on the right still see it as an attack on the NRA but it also draws some criticism from the left. Continue


TTC Extra: Obama's Paid Family Leave Plan

Image of TTC Extra: Obama's Paid Family Leave Plan
To The Contrary
PBS


President Barack Obama is introducing paid family leave for federal workers and is working towards expanding it for all Americans. PANEL: Sam Bennett; Darlene Kennedy; Aisha Moodie-Mills; Sabrina Schaeffer Continue


Cartoons: To Publish Is One Issue. To Explain Is Another.

PBS Ombudsman
PBS


The ombudsman agrees with those viewers who feel the NewsHour should have at least explained its decision not to republish those Hebdo cartoons. Continue


Abortion Debate; Involved Fathers; UN Women: Beijing+20

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To The Contrary
PBS


Abortion Debate: A Texas law requiring clinic upgrades reignites debate. Involved Fathers: Involved dads are more satisfied with their jobs than involved moms. Beijing+20: UN Women Executive Dir. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka discusses the progress made towards empowerment. PANEL: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton; Genevieve Wood; Erin Matson; Rina Shah Continue


TTC Extra: Jennifer Aniston & Mom Pressure

Image of TTC Extra: Jennifer Aniston & Mom Pressure
To The Contrary
PBS


Former "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston recently spoke about the pressure she faces from other people who insist she must become a mom. She defended women who did not have kids, saying they mother in different ways. PANEL: Francesca Chambers; Jennifer Marshall; Patricia Sosa; Avis Jones-DeWeever Continue


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