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VPT Will Not Air Show from George W. Bush Institute


Published January 14, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.

Anyone wondering whether Vermont Public Television will join other public television affiliates in airing a show produced by the George W. Bush Institute, wonder no more: It won't.

The roundtable show, "Ideas in Action," caused something of a stir earlier this week when the Huffington Post reported that the Bush Institute would co-produce the show, hosted by Institute executive director Ambassador James Glassman, and offer it to public television stations as a replacement for the long-running public affairs show "Think Tank," which recently suspended production.

The media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) sent out an action alert titled "Goodbye Moyers, Hello Bush Institute?" in which they lamented that the Bush-produced talk show comes just as PBS is losing two of the hardest-hitting shows on public television: "Now" and "Bill Moyers Journal" — the latter a show that tackled taboo subjects like ... wait for it ... impeaching President Bush!

Vermonters dubious of all things Dubya needn't worry, though: Vermont Public Television's Ann Curran tells Blurt that VPT will not be carrying the show.

VPT had already slated another program, the investment show "Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack," in the Sunday 10 a.m. slot held by "Think Tank" when "Ideas in Action" was offered to public television stations through distributor Executive Program Services, according to Curran. So VPT never really had to decide whether to pick up or decline the show, as such.

Starting in February, the show "Inside Washington" — a roundtable hosted by WLJA-TV news anchor Gordon Peterson and featuring a who's who of mainstream media pundits — will take the Sunday 10 a.m. slot on VPT.

As a footnote, VPT's Curran tells Blurt: "We'd be glad to hear your readers' thoughts on our public affairs shows national and local — and anything else that's on their minds. They can reach us at vpt.org or 1-800-639-7811."