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PBS' "Breaking the Silence" Not Ready For Prime Time
October 19, 2005
by Carey Roberts

Propaganda pieces normally contain an indisputable kernel of truth, which is then artfully embellished with innuendo, distortions, and half-truths. By that standard, the upcoming PBS program, Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, doesn't even qualify as good fiction.

The program is so larded with Leftist fantasies and sweeping stereotypes you begin to wonder if producers Dominique Lasseur and Catherine Tatge thought they were doing a special for Sesame Street. A nice bedtime story wouldn't be so bad, except this tale targets fathers and families.

Breaking the Silence leads off with this whopper: "One-third of mothers lose custody to abusive husbands." That outrageous statement contains two falsehoods.

First, divorced fathers win custody of their children only 15% of the time, so the one-third figure is obviously suspect.

Second, women are known to be just as abusive as men. As a recent report from the Independent Women's Forum notes, "approximately half of all couple violence is mutual...when only one partner is abusive, it is as likely to be the woman as the man."

Continuing its mean-spirited dissing of dads, Breaking the Silence goes on to claim that children are "most often in danger from the father." Apparently the producers never bothered to read the recent report from the US Department of Health and Human Services which reveals that the majority of perpetrators of child abuse and neglect are female.

But the real objective of the PBS fusillade is to whitewash the problem of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Divorcing parents - usually mothers - sometimes try to turn the children against the other parent. If the mother can claim that the kids are refusing to talk to dad, she is almost certain to win child custody.

John Gray, PhD, author of the best-selling book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, describes women he has seen who "will do all sorts of things to prevent the father from taking charge of the children, then they'll turn around and say the father doesn't participate."

The problem of brainwashing moms is well-known to lawyers, attorneys, and psychologists. I've seen this problem myself, and the long-term effects on children can be so profound that I consider it one of the most pernicious forms of child abuse.

But the rad-fems want to keep the lid tightly sealed on PAS, since it is one of their most effective ploys for excluding fathers. And gaining child custody is a mother's meal ticket to many years of tax-free child support. So Breaking the Silence does everything to discredit PAS, calling it "junk science" and a psychological "invention."

To lend the veneer of scientific respectability, the producers brought in Joan Meier, a law professor at George Washington University. But Meier brings her own set of credibility problems. In a recent interview, she made this claim from left field: "batterers are twice as likely to contest as non-batterers. And they often win sole or joint custody."

Maybe Meier was suffering from a brain cramp that day. Or perhaps she was thinking of Clara Harris, the Texas woman who fatally battered her husband by driving over him with her car. Just seven months after her murder conviction, Harris was granted custody of her two five-year-old boys.

So why would PBS engage in this wanton abuse of truth? The answer lies in the broader feminist crusade to overturn the Patriarchy. Get dad out of the picture, they say, and the children will grow up to be more enlightened human beings.

But research proves the opposite is true. Countless studies show that kids with absent dads do far worse on a broad range of academic, social, and psychological indicators.

Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, is credited with the concept of the Big Lie. Repeat a falsehood a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.

In 1935, the Big Lie claimed that Jewish bankers and businessmen were wrecking the German economy, which necessitated their forced removal from society. Seventy years later, the Big Lie would have you believe fathers constitute a menace to women and children, so their exclusion is necessary as well.

This coming Thursday at 10 pm, the Public Broadcasting Corporation is planning to air the latest incarnation of the Big Lie -- unless they hear from viewers like you. Contact your local PBS station at www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html.

Because even Big Bird needs a daddy's hug.

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