Taking the PBS Challenge: Many PBS stations are currently airing a three-part series, A Path Appears, which features Nicholas Kristof.
This is the official synopsis of the PBS series:
A Path Appears, from the creative team behind the series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and a group of dedicated actor/advocates to Colombia, Haiti, Kenya, and throughout the United States. They uncover the harshest forms of gender inequality, the devastating impact of poverty and the ripple effects that follow: including sex trafficking, teen-pregnancy, gender-based violence, child slavery and the effective solutions being forged to combat them.Parts 1 and 2 of the series have already aired. Part 3 airs this week on most participating stations.
We were puzzled by one segment from Part 2 of the series. It concerned the experiences of a 13-year-old Haitian girl.
You can watch Part 2 of the series on-line, but only through February 14. For that reason, we're posting the links today.
This is our reason for calling your attention to this fascinating segment from Haiti:
We were puzzled, and nonplussed, by certain aspects of this segment from the PBS show. We didn’t understand why the girl in question was treated the way she was—why she was treated the way she was by Kristof and the team with which he was involved.
Let’s be frank. In some ways, it seemed to us that this girl had been treated very badly. That segment from Haiti is very much worth watching. But watching the segment left a bad taste in our mouths, a bad feeling in our stomachs.
We became more puzzled over the weekend when we saw that Kristof had written a column about these same events back on January 1. The column appeared in the hard-copy New York Times, but only in the paper’s New York editions.
To read the column, click here.
Why were we puzzled by the column? It told the story of this same girl. But the basic chronology was quite different from the chronology shown on PBS.
In Kristof’s column, he explains why the girl was weeping profusely at one part of the story. But his explanation is quite different from the story we seemed to see take place on PBS.
We expect to return to this matter on Friday. We wanted to alert you to it today, since the PBS show will only be available for on-line viewing through the end of the week.
To watch the PBS segment on-line, you can just click here. The fascinating segment in Haiti starts around the 31-minute mark.
The segment runs about one half hour. Because of the beautiful Haitian kids it involves, the segment is very much worth watching.
That said, we’ll suggest that you Take the Haiti Challenge! Watch the show, then read Kristof’s earlier column. If we might borrow from the ancient Dylan lyric:
“But oh, what kind of journalism is this, which goes from bad to worse?”
Kristof tells the story one way in his New York Times column. His PBS program tells the story quite differently, with a substantially different chronology being shown.
In each instance, a child is subjected to some very rough treatment, which leaves her weeping profusely, with no one bothering to explain why this had to occur.
The otherwise useless female movie star is in the PBS program, of course. In this way, we PBS viewers get ourselves pleasured with major celebrity fun.
As we've thought about the career-building affected by Brian Williams, we wondered more and more each day: What’s going on with Nicholas Kristof? Is Nicholas Kristof just a different version of Williams?
Perhaps he’s grossly overextended. That said, does he really care about Kevin Green’s kids? About that Haitian girl?
Go ahead—Take the Haiti Challenge! Read the original column, then watch the subsequent PBS show.
You'll see the story told two different ways. Which story do you prefer? And why was that lovely child forced to cry so hard?