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October 19, 2005
Contact: Richard Davis, <>

PBS Charged with Promoting Anti-Father Bias

Washington, DC - Family advocates are charging the Public Broadcasting System with promoting a program that is overtly biased and tinged with an anti-father agenda. RADAR, a media watchdog organization, is asking PBS to postpone broadcast of "Breaking the Silence," and to revise its content to reflect accepted journalistic standards of accuracy and fairness.

The PBS program examines the problem of divorcing mothers who attempt to turn their children against their father, a condition that is often called Parental Alienation Syndrome. Even though psychologists and psychiatrists often see children who have been alienated from one their parents, the PBS program dismisses the problem as "junk science."

The PBS show makes claims about domestic violence that are easily refuted by scientific research. Government statistics show that mothers are more likely than fathers to abuse and neglect their children, but Breaking the Silence states the opposite.

Critics say the program is replete with falsehoods posing as documentary fact. RADAR analyst Mark Rosenthal describes the PBS program as an example of "yellow journalism" that has the objective of stampeding legislators into passing "a law to fix a non-existent problem." [http://www.mediaradar.org/mr_breaking_the_science.php#pas]

"Over and over, research has shown that children with involved fathers fare better in school, have fewer behavioral problems, and do better on a wide range of social indicators," according to Stephen Baskerville, PhD, president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. "But the producers of Breaking the Silence have set out to promote negative stereotypes that have the effect of removing dads from their kids' lives."

"Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories" is scheduled to be released by the Public Broadcasting Service on Thursday, October 20. RADAR is asking persons to contact their local PBS affiliates at http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html and urge them to delay airing this program until it is revised to reflect a balanced perspective.

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://mediaradar.org.

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