Do the hidden facts speak for themselves? Does knowing certain information make you want to scream sometimes? Well according to Dr. Mercola, a very popular non-profit has been pulling the wool over our eyes as to what they represent. But have they really? Have they been misleading us all along? Let’s take a look and see.
According to Dr. Mercola, The Public Broadcast Service (PBS), a non-profit organization has sunk to an all-time low and is a shrill for processed foods and the big pharma companies. The attack on PBS, by Dr. Mercola comes after a PBS Frontline news show that appears to be an attack show on the Vitamin and Supplement industry.
Dr. Mercola states: “If you thought PBS was above such shenanigans, think again. If you’ve been a regular viewer of PBS, you’ve likely noticed the increase in sponsored messages over the last few years, and among these “underwriters,” as they’re now called, you have Monsanto, Pfizer, and Merck, just to name a few. If you have ever supported PBS in the past I would hope you seriously reconsider and refrain from donating any money to an organization that has clearly demonstrated they are nothing more than an industry shill and could care less about your health.”
The concern and frustration that Dr. Mercola has with PBS and specifically with the Frontline news cast, seems to be on the biased and misleading information portrayed by PBS on this news show. It appeared to me to be a rehash of the same uneducated and biased reports that CBC News published in a Marketplace report in which they claimed a number of supplement makers had essentially ripped off their customers by failing to live up to the claims on their labels. The CBS report made it seem like the supplement industry was a danger to our health as they mislead and manipulated their presentation of non-facts as facts.
CBS admits they got it wrong
The important thing to note, that obviously was missed by PBS, is that On January 21, 2016 CBS retracted their report, as inaccurate and false. In other words they owned up to their ineptitude and irresponsible reporting. CBS’s statement was: “Last fall, Marketplace commissioned lab testing for samples of fish oil, vitamin C and protein powder supplements to see if consumers are actually getting what they pay for… However, subsequent re-testing of the samples has found that the lab results and analysis provided to Marketplace were incorrect, and that there is no evidence of problems with those products… In response to the discovery, Marketplace is evaluating its protocols around the use of lab testing.”
In a report broadcast on Marketplace on January 22, host Erica Johnson says, ‘We regret giving you incorrect information and any harm it may have caused the companies in our report …”. This is the unfortunate power that the media have in society, and sadly when they get it wrong, they never own up to it. So even though the admittance to making a gross error was not covered in depth as the original repot was, they at least owned up for it. Hopefully it will be pointed out to PBS, that they got it wrong as well.
But is all as it seems?
Aside from a Frontline news presentation, that got it wrong, did PBS actually do anything that they have stated that they wouldn’t do? PBS is a none-profit organization; they are not an advocate for or against our health, or any other matter. It is important to note that PBS unlike the commercial broadcast television companies which get a majority of their revenue from advertisements on their broadcasts, PBS does not subscribe to this model. PBS is not a network broadcaster but a program distribution company owned and operated by the CW which compensate their affiliate stations to carry their programs.
There is a misunderstanding that the PBS, because it does not run “commercial advertisement”, and therefore does not earn revenue from advertisements, is free from the influence and control of their advertisers and in control of the content that they present. This perception exists because that is the very image that PBS promotes subtly but effectively in their audience.
It is my impression that Dr. Mercola, by reading his objection to the Frontline presentation, is also under the impression that PBS is there to look after the viewer’s health and viewing concern, by presenting unbiased and fact based stories and shows.
I cannot support Dr. Mercola’s request to not support the PBS because they presented this very biased and misleading show, but I can suggest that for those that are concerned about this, that they write to their local PBS and complain about the show and the presentation. Perhaps, if you are concerned with a show on PBS, you should let PBS know that the presentation of such misleading and nonfactual information as fact is not in standing with the PBS image.