KNPB president chastised

The ombudsman for the Public Broadcasting Service filed a Feb. 18 report saying that Reno’s KNPB made a mistake in failing to broadcast the last Democratic presidential debate.

The Feb. 11 debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was held a week before the Nevada caucuses, but station president Kurt Mische said he did not carry it because, “There was and is no Republican debate scheduled” on PBS.

PBS ombudsman Michael Getler, after examining the dispute, wrote, “I applaud Mische’s forthrightness in explaining his position and his dedication to fair and balanced coverage. … But personally, I find the decision not to put it on television, although perhaps made with the best of intentions, to be incomprehensible in this case. To me, it turns journalistic principle on its head, producing instead a form of censorship that is disrespectful to local viewers—Republicans, Democrats and Independents. How can you refuse to allow viewers, especially those without cable, to see a nationally-televised Democratic primary debate … because a debate among Republicans, which PBS had also asked to do, has not yet been granted?”