In the Life

Season 14 Episode 2

Setting the Record Straight

Aired Unknown Nov 01, 2005 on PBS
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Episode Summary

Setting the Record Straight
Rate: TV-PG

This November, In the Life is "Setting the Record Straight" on PBSs "Postcards from Busters from Buster: Sugartime," government propaganda, and ABC News 20/20s The Matthew Shepard Story: Secrets of a Murder. Actor, comedian, and Air America Radio personality Janeane Garofalo hosts In the Life with PSAs from actor, comedian Rosie ODonnell and young adult author Alex Sanchez (Rainbow High, Rainbow Boys).

This November, In the Life is "Setting the Record Straight." This hour-long special explores the intersection of LGBT representation, cultural prejudice, censorship, media sensationalism vs. actual news and the big picture implications of it all. Hosted by actor, comedian, and Air America Radio talk show host Janeane Garofalo with PSAs from actor, comedian Rosie ODonnell and young adult author Alex Sanchez (Rainbow High, Rainbow Boys).

In the Life begins with a visit to Vermont couple Gillian Pieper and Karen Pike of PBSs "Postcards from Buster: Sugartime" to discuss the rippling effects of U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellingss disapproval of the episode in which their family was profiled. Spellings urged PBS to pull the episode, restricting the open dialogue she pledged to pursue in her inaugural address.

The traditional role of a journalist has been to act as an objective observer of our culture using a standard set of ethical guidelines in their effort to report the most factual information possible. Recent controversies have highlighted journalists with right-leaning agendas and the current U.S. governments packaging of Video News Releases as actual news, calling into question the ethical practices of journalists today. In this segment, In the Life explores the effects of government propaganda and its influence on headline news, which exploits LGBT people to the detriment of the entire society.

Finally, In the Life explores the newsmagazine format in a for-profit media model. In November 2004, ABC News 20/20 aired The Matthew Shepard Story: Secrets of a Murder promising stunning new information about the crime using interviews with the convicted killers. The primary focus was on dismantling the widely accepted position that Matthew's murder was a hate crime. In the Life looks at the sources and the methodology to discover what was missing from 20/20s report.

Interviews this month include: Veteran journalist Helen Thomas and former Talon News White House correspondent Jeff Gannon, Court TV and CNN anchor Nancy Grace, Judy Shepard, attorney Sean Maloney, "The Laramie Project" Director Moises Kaufman, Sirius Q Radio Host Romaine Patterson, Media Expert Douglas Rushkoff, the Vermont couple from PBSs "Postcards from Buster: Sugartime" episode Karen Pike and Gillian Pieper, PBS Senior V.P. John F. Wilson, and GLAADs Media Director Glennda Testone.


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