Here's Exhibit A for how shameless PBS looks during the fall presidential election campaign. On Sept. 22, PBS "Frontline" aired a two-hour documentary on the presidential election called "The Choice," as it does every four years.
The quick review: Donald Trump is a vicious "killer" and bully. Joe Biden is "Obama's trusted partner."
It began with President Trump's hostile experts such as biographer Gwenda Blair, who said: "Donald's father's overall message to his children was ... compete; win; be a killer. Do what you have to to win." Narrator Will Lyman added Trump "was determined to live up to his father's ideal: Be a 'killer.'"
Young Donald was sent to military school, where it was a "five-year lesson in how to be a bully." Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher set the scene: "Donald Trump yelled at his classmates. He pushed them around. He even used a broomstick as a weapon against classmates who didn't listen to him when he told them what to do. ... He became one of the student leaders who had a number of kids under him in the dormitories, and he ruled the dormitory life with an iron fist."
The narrator summed up: "Inside that brutal world, Donald had found his place. ... With his father and mother by his side, Donald graduated. He'd become a killer, learned the power of bullying to get ahead, a method he'd carry into the future."
Then the documentary turned to Biden, and the tone changed entirely. "Joey Biden's crisis was stuttering," narrated Lyman. The viewer was told a cruel nun at his Catholic school mocked his stuttering. His sister, Valerie Biden Owens, touted how their mother went to the nun and said, "if you ever, ever, ever do that again, I'm going to come back, and I'm going to knock your bonnet right off your head. Do we understand each other?"
The narrator intoned: "Bullied, harassed, ridiculed: He was hell-bent on beating the stutter. ... He kept pushing -- against the stutter, the bullies -- and it paid off."
All this overt pro-Democratic messaging was just in the first 15 minutes of the film. It did not improve.
Fast-forward through the biographies. After tugging heartstrings by covering all the tragic deaths in Biden's family -- the loss of his wife and daughter to a car accident in 1972, and his son Beau Biden to cancer in 2015 -- the documentary taunted Trump by playing the "Access Hollywood" tape and talking about how deeply racist his family is.
Biden got a free pass on anything he has ever done that would upset minorities, from opposition to school busing in the 1970s to the 1994 crime bill. Democrat Bakari Sellers said: "Joe Biden has the Obama halo; everybody knows that. That is the cleansing of Joe Biden and everything that may have happened."
Former Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery added: "Even if they don't agree with him, they think he's a good faith actor. That means a lot. To a community of people who have been betrayed and oppressed and tricked and lied to, someone who you can trust at their word, that goes a very long way."
The concluding sermon came from another Washington Post reporter, Dan Balz: "Policy is not the choice that's on the ballot this year. It is a choice of character. It is a choice of temperament. It is a choice of persona and personality. That's always a factor in our presidential campaigns, but I don't think it's ever been as big a factor as it will be in November."
Policy is not on the ballot?! Forget defunding the police, "Medicare for All," the "Green New Deal" or gun control. Don't vote for the "killer." Vote for the man with the "Obama halo." This hustle is not subtle.
Beware the carefully scripted puffball "town halls" that have been organized by CNN and NBC to help Joe Biden's campaign. As Biden makes a virtue out of having tiny, underpopulated "campaign events" for the TV cameras, these provide the fraudulent illusion of Biden engaging with undecided voters. The questions are toothless and designed to promote answers that impress the audience as being thoughtful and measured.
The first words out of NBC anchorman Lester Holt's mouth on Oct. 5 were the following: "Good evening, everyone. Welcome to tonight's town hall, where we are surrounded by dozens of undecided voters." Listening to the questions asked disqualifies that claim.
For example, Holt presented Ingrid Gilliam-Alexander as "undecided but leaning toward Biden." She insisted President Donald Trump was "bullying" Biden at the debate and said: "I'm worried that it knocked you off your game. How do I know that you're able to forcefully lead this country moving forward when being faced with unforeseen challenges and other bullies?"
Surprise! On her LinkedIn page, she posted a video with the hashtag "#joebiden2020."
Or try this Holt introduction: "Our next one comes from Cassidy Brown in Orlando. Voted for the first time in 2016." Brown's question? "My youngest sister is in high school right now. And I knew whenever I was graduating high school and entering college that I wanted to obtain my degree and start a career before starting a family. Having access to birth control and safe reproductive health care was imperative in making that true for me. So, considering the new Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, what are your particular plans to protect women's reproductive rights in the U.S.?"
That sounds like a Planned Parenthood questionnaire, not an undecided voter. Sure enough, on her public Facebook page, Brown reposted a meme in 2019 from the "VOTEPROCHOICE" Facebook group showing a protest sign that reads, "You're pro-life until the baby is poor, transgender, black, gay, Mexican, disabled, sick, etc."
This is ironic since the "right to choose" is often reserved for eliminating disabled or sick unborn babies.
Or try Michelle Cruz Marrero, presented by Holt as someone who "used to be a registered Republican but voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016." She professed, "As a mother of a police officer and the wife of a retired police officer, served 28 years, the term 'defunding the police' is of concern and troubling. ... With that being said, I would like to know what you and your administration's policies in reforming the police -- how those will come about, how -- how they will be best handled to ensure police officer safety and the public -- citizens' safety as well."
It turns out that Michelle Cruz Marrero can be easily found on Facebook posting on the "Cubanos con Biden" page. She's no undecided voter. After the event, she wrote: "Biden was eloquent and I hope that this clarified all questions regarding the false narrative of 'defunding the police' and that he seeks to reform the police and make it a better place for all of us to live in."
The valentine continued: "He is intelligent. He is elegant. He is poised and he has a plan. He does not dismiss COVID and the future of our country rests on this election and a vote for Trump is a vote for insanity. This country needs Biden. We need Biden. ... He will save America and he will restore the country we had before this monster took over."
The proper description for this NBC "News" event is an infomercial. Holt was selling Joe Biden like Larry King hawks Omega XL diet supplements and Prostagenix prostate pills. Can we expect more of the same at the Oct. 15 "town hall" debate, with a much larger audience?