Ed Driscoll

Coming Soon to PBS: Ken Burns' Production of You Bet Your Life

I used to think of Ken Burns as being an earnestly leftwing but honest documentarian. Until I read this:

The filmmaker, who works primarily on projects for PBS, says there wouldn’t be a birther movement with a President Joe Biden in the White House. Burns then turned his attention to the Tea Party, saying a friend who attended a Tea Party event told him “almost every one she met there invoked the ‘n-word'” about the president, he recalls.

That friend isn’t the only one hearing that racial slur of late, he alleges.

“I have heard in last four years the ‘N-word’ used more often than in the rest of my life,” the 59-year-old filmmaker says, adding Obama’s detractors routinely call the president “un-American,” the “other” and a Muslim.


That’s according to Christian Toto at Big Hollywood, who says that Burns’ comments took place “during an interview with Breitbart News.” I’m hoping Breitbart News will release the audio or video of these comments. Assuming Toto accurately transcribed them, they instantly transport Ken Burns deep into Michael Moore territory — a hard left partisan who can no longer be trusted to deliver an honest narrative, as the late Pauline Kael perceptively noted in her review of Moore’s first agitpropumentary, Roger and Me.

I’m also curious if anyone at Breitbart.com counterpunched Burns’ hearsay in response. Especially after their late founder’s classic moment where he played a variation of Groucho Marx’s old You Bet Your Life game show with the left — prove that the N-Word was uttered when they claimed it was shouted to Democrat Congressional reps during the day in 2010 when ObamaCare was passed, and win $100,000.

As even the original BenSmither himself told Andrew Breitbart back then, “I think you’ve pretty much won this one, no?”


But then, it shows you just how inherently racist the Tea Party is, and how much their hatred of Obama is tied to racism, that they concurrently protested Barack Obama — and supported Allen West, Tim Scott, Herman Cain, Mia Love, and other black conservatives. Not to mention that numerous people in the Tea Party are black themselves, as Newsbusters’ Bob Parks vividly pointed out:

Now that’s racism straight up. Or not, but try telling that to anyone on PBS’s payroll.

Incidentally, Burns’ Civil War documentary and his other efforts have made historical events come alive for millions. Burns relied heavily on still photos and contemporaneous reports read by actors to recreate an era before movies, when simply the still photo was still a new and novel technological development. In sharp contradistinction, today’s news events are covered by zillions of words of news articles, blog posts, countless still photos, and hours of video, shot by both professionals and amateurs with cell phones, flip cams, tablet video, etc.

All that data — at least that which survives* — will serve as the raw material for the future Ken Burns and Michael Moores of the world to catalog this current era.


How inaccurate do you think it will be?

* Yes, and for that, I apologize.

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