Lies from PBS? Say it ain't so.

PBS's new documentary 'Farmingville' was broadcast on many PBS stations tonight. It covers a Long Island community's reaction to a sudden influx of illegal immigrants.

From PBS's synopsis:

The shocking hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers catapult a small Long Island town into national headlines, unmasking a new front line in the border wars: suburbia. For nearly a year, Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini lived and worked in Farmingville, New York, so they could capture first-hand the stories of residents, day laborers and activists on all sides of the debate.

Lou Dobbs calls it "[o]ne of the most important documentaries in years", but others say it's strongly biased in favor of illegal immigration. FAIR says it "Distorts Views of the Community". And, many of the visitors to PBS's discussion forums say it's biased as well. I have not seen it yet.

However, the documentary comes with its own discussion guide, and that might give us some clues to the documentary's intent. The guide could fairly be described as a pro-illegal immigration brochure. It gives the upsides to massive illegal immigration, and attempts to counter or sidestep the downsides.

Part of the brochure has been repurposed and placed in HTML pages on PBS's Farmingville site in their special features section. Because it forms a core part of their description of the documentary, that would tend to indicate that the views it expresses are endorsed by PBS.

The documentary makers had a web chat, and the transcript is here. The transcript makes clear where they stand as well as their misconceptions. Those misconceptions range from small things like the derivation of the word wop on up. In the web chat, they also attempt to subtly smear those who hold opposing viewpoints as racists.

Dan Stein of FAIR is given a chance to answer a few questions at PBS's site, however they're mostly meaningless questions and PBS does not provide an opposing view of the documentary itself.

There are past reports on the documentary here and here.

It'd be helpful if interested parties could look through at least the materials at PBS's site and point out all the lies and misrepresentations. Then, that hefty compilation could be sent to PBS and the documentary's sponsors. More importantly, the compilation could be sent to Congress with the suggestion that they use it as PBS not serving the community as their charter says they should.



I have been serving in Iraq for over five months now as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the "ROCK."

We entered the country at midnight on the 26th of March; one thousand of my fellow soldiers and I parachuted from 10 jumbo jets (known as C-17s) onto a cold, muddy field in Bashur, Northern Iraq. This parachute operation was the U.S. Army's only combat jump of the war and opened up the northern front.

Things have changed tremendously for our battalion since those first cold, wet weeks spent in the mountain city of Bashur. On April 10 our battalion conducted an attack south into the oil-rich town of Kirkuk, the city that has since become our home away from home and the focus of our security and development efforts.

Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, in the 110-degree heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands, in their broken English shouting "Thank you, mister."

The people of Kirkuk are all trying to find their way in this new democratic environment. Some major steps have been made in these last three months. A big reason for our steady progress is that our soldiers are living among the people of the city and getting to know their neighbors and the needs of their neighborhoods.

We also have been instrumental in building a new police force. Kirkuk now has 1,700 police officers. The police are now, ethnically, a fair representation of the community as a whole. So far, we have spent more than $500,000 from the former Iraqi regime to repair each of the stations' electricity and plumbing, to paint each station and make it a functional place for the police to work.

The battalion also has assisted in re-establishing Kirkuk's fire department, which is now even more effective than before the war. New water treatment and sewage plants are being constructed and the distribution of oil and gas are steadily improving.

All of these functions were started by our soldiers here in this northern city and are now slowly being turned over to the newly elected city government. Laws are being rewritten to reflect democratic principles and a functioning judicial system was recently established to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the rule of law.

The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

The fruits of all our soldiers' efforts are clearly visible in the streets of Kirkuk today. There is very little trash in the streets, there are many more people in the markets and shops and children have returned to school.

This is all evidence that the work we are doing as a battalion and as American soldiers is bettering the lives of Kirkuk's citizens. I am proud of the work we are doing here in Iraq and I hope all of your readers are as well.

Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo

"Die dulci fruimini!"