Producer: PBS drops film about Islamists over political objections

The evidence of foul political play is compelling, but if they’re so worried about offending the perpetually offended, what are they doing giving a forum to an apostate as righteous as Irshad Manji?

Sprinkle a little salt on this one before you start chewing:

Martyn Burke says that the Public Broadcasting Service and project managers at station WETA in Washington, D.C., excluded his documentary, Islam vs. Islamists, from the series America at a Crossroads after he refused to fire two co-producers [neocons Frank Gaffney and Alex Alexiev] affiliated with a conservative think tank…

Jeff Bieber, WETA’s executive producer for Crossroads, … said Burke’s film had “serious structural problems (and) . . . was irresponsible because the writing was alarmist, and it wasn’t fair.”

“They’re crying foul, and there was no foul ball,” Bieber added. “The problem is in their film.”…

Before filming began last year, Burke says, Bieber asked him, “Don’t you check into the politics of the people you work with?”

Bieber said PBS was concerned that the Center for Security Policy is an advocacy group, so its leaders could not produce an objective picture. Because of that, he suggested that Gaffney be demoted to adviser.

Follow the Manji link above and you’ll see that AEI’s magazine is listed as a co-producer of the film “Warriors,” so their think-tank objections can’t be too profound. Plus, says Burke, there’s plenty of evidence of tampering:

A WETA manager pressed to eliminate a key perspective of the film: The claim that Muslim radicals are pushing to establish “parallel societies” in America and Europe governed by Shariah law rather than sectarian courts.

After grants were issued, Crossroads managers commissioned a new film that overlapped with Islam vs. Islamists and competed for the same interview subjects.

WETA appointed an advisory board that includes Aminah Beverly McCloud, director of World Islamic Studies at DePaul University. In an “unparalleled breach of ethics,” Burke says, McCloud took rough-cut segments of the film and showed them to Nation of Islam officials, who are a subject of the documentary. They threatened to sue.

LGF points to this interview with Gaffney, who says they actually dumbed the film down considerably so that PBS’s audience wouldn’t be overcome by the vapors. A blogger at a site called Honey & Lace also claims to be involved somehow, and says another network has expressed interest in airing the film in case PBS cancels it entirely.

And I think we all know which network that’ll be.

Let’s hope it does get picked up, if only because it gives some screen time to Zuhdi Jasser. Jasser’s fast becoming one of America’s most prominent moderate Muslim critics of CAIR — and a guy who’s willing to put his money where his mouth is.