Skip to comments.Ken Burns' World War II (liberal columnist attacks political correctness at PBS)
Posted on 05/10/2007 4:09:02 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
All I can say is that it's a good thing it's Ken Burns. If the micromanagers and pseudo-censors representing the politically correct Congressional Hispanic Caucus were taking on a lesser filmmaker, who knows what would happen? At least it's relatively easy for PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, to stand behind the best documentary artist in America. In this climate, the second-best might not fare so well.
The current controversy centers around Ken Burns' forthcoming film, "The War," which focuses on how the people of four American towns were affected by World War II. Famous historians everywhere have supported the project. Burns, who has created epic "poems" about everything from sports to the Civil War, seems poised once again to capture the country's imagination in a seven-part series.
Of course, I haven't seen it yet. But neither have the people protesting that PBS shouldn't support Burns or air his series because, from those four towns, none of the people who go to war are Hispanic.
I kid you not.
It's not that he says anything bad about Hispanics. No racist slurs, ugly comments, derogatory references. But how dare Burns pick his own towns and his own people without making sure everyone was represented? Who does he think he is, the storyteller or something?
They've even formed a committee to demand that Burns redo the film, which took him six years to make and is now completely done. "Defend the Honor Campaign" it's called, and its only purpose seems to be to attack a guy who went so far as to offer to add additional material at the end of the movie to include Hispanics as if this were an encyclopedia and not a movie.
That's right. Burns could have justifiably told these folks where to go and what to do
(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...
When political correctness is so rampant that even a certified partisan leftie like Susan Estrich attacks it, you know that it’s gotten way, way out of hand.
That’s a good idea. There are plenty of wealthy patrons who can subsidize such things with their own private money.
Hey! I’ve got an idea. How about these fine people raise some money and hire Ken Burns or another good documentary maker and make their own movie about Hispanic soldiers in WWII. I’d love to see it. I’d bet that PBS would fall over themselves to air it.
Of course, that would mean that these whining ninnies would have to actually DO something.
“the best documentary artist in America”
Hardly. He makes historical narratives. They are NOT documentaries.
The Maysles (who made Gimme Shelter, Salesman, and other documentaries) decry the use of narration, historical recreation, and any preconceived storyline in “documentary”.
Better documentarians will tell you that they begin with one idea but in researching and filming their subject, the project grows.
Consider when Michael Moore (who never went to Iraq himself to make F-911, he relied entirely on second unit crews) had interview footage of Nick Berg AND access to footage of the terrorists cutting his head off AND the documentary about the sh!tuation in Iraq didn’t mention ANY of it. Instead it told how wonderful life was in Saddam’s Iraq pre-invasion.
People have found historical errors in Ken Burns’ programs (like Baseball).
But I wouldn’t praise him as a documentarian.
A quota for history now. Great.
Actually, you COULD make a pretty good documentary of Mexico’s part in WWII:
Call him what you will, but he has brought a level of interest to subjects not covered in such detail, as few other have. His body of work is enjoyable, informative and has brought Jazz, the Civil war and baseball to audiences that have not previously been reached on some of these subjects.
Mistakes? It would be hard to not find an error in virtually any movie or film project that covers entire era's as he has.
I wonder how many of those errors would classify as nit picking, vs. major errors of fact.
Would you care to offer any examples of his errors?
I didn’t think it was possible, but “The Right to Not be Offended” has officially been trumped for absurdity by “The “Right to Appear in a Ken Burns Documentary.” Wow.
Sorry, wrong. I hired an in-house director of their's to shoot and edit a trailer for one of my projects. I spent two weeks in and out of their offices. They had just shot a 'documentary' covering some anti-US march in DC. Two of the team's PAs were 'interviewed' by the producer because they needed the right kind of statements. It was handled by none less than Albert with a nod and a wink.
I pray that someday the "Liberals" get tired of and completely disavow the radical leftists that make up the base of the Democrat Party!!
Interesting point here - my family lived throught the battle of Manila, and were liberated by the US Army. They (and plenty of my relatives and their neighbors of those days, all were Spanish-speaking) were very surprised (pleasantly so) to find that the unit that liberated their part of Manila were Spanish speakers too, from New Mexico and other such places. They got along famously.
Moral relativism at work is what those protests are.
It was so ridiculously racist, negative, and limited! Wynton Marsalis is an elitist snob, and Burns was totally obtuse. To cite his history of jazz series as a good example is ... distressing. Guys like Marsalis and Burns are why "jazz" is dying and has so very few radio stations. Sorry to be so sour, but it just kills me that so much really great jazzy fusion stuff exists -- spirit-lifting stuff, exciting, interesting upbeat music -- that is riduculed by old-guard heavies like Marsalis, and hence ignored by folks like Burns, who's fallen for Wynton hook, line, and sinker. And a whole group of people unwittingly allow themselves to have a uniquely American and uniquely dynamic musical genre defined by a snotty old Scooter like Wynton.
All because Burns has such credibility with other series, they automatically believe him in this one. Sad.
Oh well -- sooner or later the cream will rise to the top, and we'll hear that great music somewhere better than just my CD player, and once again American original music will inspire Americans to be ... victorious Americans! (You'd never guess that swing jazz is one of my faves, wouldja? Listen to Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, Duke Ellington, Les Brown. No WONDER America won the war.)
Love your tagline ‘hombre’.