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I am sure many of you have seen or heard about the appalling creationist
program on NBC Sunday night. It seems that with CBS having received enough
flak about such psuedoscientific programming, it has found a new home with
the peacock. This sort of programming is contributing to the dumbing down of
America, and is part of the conservative Christian attempt to dominate
society and science. It is very dangerous.  

When was the last time we saw the networks present an hour long program on
science and evolution? When if Jim Farlow going to be seen showing what the
"man" tracks really are?

The question is what is to be done about it? Complaining among ourselves and
writing E-mail back and forth is really a waste of time. Far better to go on
the offensive. Networks receive so little mail about most shows that a large
number of complaints about a show has an effect. The popular belief that
networks are immune to complaints is not always correct. It is even possible
that the NBC programmers are not aware of what theyt are doing. Certainly we
cannot complain about what they put on the air unless we tell them so! I
understand there are about 1000 subscribers on this list. If only a fraction
wrote a polite but strongly worded letter to NBC they would notice. I do not
have a street or E-mail address for the network, perhaps somebody can post
the same? It is particularly important for paleontologists at institutions to
protest directly to NBC. Do not complain about how your budgets are being cut
if you are not doing something to stop the erosion in popular support!

Perhaps groups like the National Center for Science Education can set up a
program to monitor these programs, and organize protests. You can bet that
the fundamentalists are well organized!

Beyond this a larger response is called for. Major scientific organizations
such as the AAAS need to set up a group to watch for and protest these trash
programs, and demand equal access. Better, yet, they need to set up a
department to raise the money to produce counter programming. 

It is unacceptable that networks as a matter of course are broadcasting junk
psuedodocumentaries, while getting real science programming on air is almost
impossible. It's the sensationalist ratings game of course, but the example
of CBS suggests that even the networks can be shamed out of it.

Again, whining about the situation accomplishes little, give NBC a piece of
your mind.


[moderator's note: Check out: http://plaza.interport.net/bcvideo/ NBC
 appears to actually be proud of the program...  There is an e-mail
 link to the production company: bcvideo@interport.net  If you want to
 try to get to the network, look at: http://www.nbc.com/mail.html
 It's mostly geared to giving feedback on particular shows, but we can
 try: Entertainment@nbc.com since the special didn't seem to qualify
 as "News".  You can also follow links from http://www.nbc.com to try
 to find a snail mail or e-mail address for your local station, or go
 to the biggie:  

 30 Rockefeller Plaza 
 New York, NY 10112


 -- MR ]