Alabama Public TV Execs Fired For Not Loving Made-Up Christian History Show

by Doktor Zoom

Also, Bill Moyers is a Commie

The board that oversees Alabama’s Public TV network has fired two top managers who, for some crazy reason, didn’t want to go along with board members’ innovative programming idea to air a 10-part revisionist history of the US produced by renowned fake historian David Barton. After news of the June 12 firings broke, four members of the Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, which raises funds for Public TV in the state, resigned in protest. No word yet on whether the network will now start replacing fundraising tote bags with Praise Pouches.

According to public media blog Current, no specific reason was given by the board for firing Alabama Public TV’s director Allan Pizzato and deputy director and chief financial officer Pauline Howard. Pizzato diplomatically cited “irreconcilable difference in opinion of the future direction of the station,” but the likely reason is that the two executives objected to the board’s desire to air The American Heritage Series, a series produced by Wall Builders, the fundamentalist group that Barton has formed to tell Americans the “real” history of America, in which the Founders were all Christians, the Constitution doesn’t separate church and state, and Thomas Jefferson had a total boner for theocracy.

The programming change was pushed by Alabama Educational Television Commissioner Rodney Herring, a chiropractor who was appointed to the AETC in 2011 by Gov. Bob Riley (who is — surprise! — a Republican). Mr. Herring is not especially worried about Public TV airing programming that has previously appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network. “The material is appropriate for public television according to the attorneys we have consulted,” Herring told the AP “[But] there will be no change in Alabama Public Television programming … for at least two or three months.” So maybe right before the election, they’ll start carrying programming from a group whose website calls Barack Obama “America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President.” How could anyone read any untoward motives into that? Then again, it’s Alabama, so maybe that’s a centrist perspective.

In response to the firings, the local Democratic Party has called for the resignations of all seven members of the AETC. Clete Wetli, chair of the Madison County Democratic Party, said:

“Republicans and tea party representatives don’t get to re-write history to suit their own political agendas. While some of our fore bearers may have been deeply religious people, they fought for religious freedom for all citizens and feared government’s intrusion into the religious practice of individuals… There is plenty of room on the TV dial for religious programming, but not on state-supported stations.

Grammar Nazi time: Yeah, yeah, “forebears” is more correcter. But let’s not be pedantic. Also, we really like saying “Clete Wetli” over and over. Clete Wetli.

In any case, Alabama Public TV may as well start running Barton’s crappy fake history programming, because there’s not much left to the network anyway. Current notes, with an almost-audible sigh, that APT’s “state appropriation has dropped 50 percent since 2008″ and that the network has “shut its state capital bureau, suspended production of its political roundtable, Capitol Journal, and laid off 19 staffers” in addition to other operations and program cutbacks. It’s probably just about small enough to drown in a bathtub.

 

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{ 123 comments }

nounverb911 June 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

I thought Jeebus wrote the Constitution along with his sidekick Dino the Dinosaur.

freakishlywrong June 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

Yes. The Founders were tirelessly busy ending slavery.

iburl June 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

Thinkin's agin' the Bible.

Ducksworthy June 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I'd like to see that if Fred Flintstone can be Adam

johnnyzhivago June 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

I've got to see this series – I wonder if they include the little known fact about Washington fighting off dinosaurs when he crossed the Delaware?

nounverb911 June 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

No dinosaurs, just Chris Christie.

actor212 June 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

Gojira?

Doktor Zoom June 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

Crete Wetri.

x111e7thst June 19, 2012 at 11:32 am
mavenmaven June 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

They were dinosaurs sent by Thor, who Jesus dispatched when he rose up from underneath George Washington's boat. The coolest part was when Jesus got Thor in a headlock and took his hammer away, which was then ironically (because these are Marvel comics, rather than DC) used to drive in the nails at the crucifixion.

Doktor Zoom June 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

I'll just leave this here.

GhostBuggy June 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

If it was a DC Comic, the Spectre would have risen up with Jesus from the Potomac and killed Thor in a spectacularly gruesome manner. And then the Anti-Monitor would restore Alabama's public TV funding, thereby rebooting everything.

mrpuma2u June 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

Were they chased out of their exit interview with a flaming sword?

Chill_Bill June 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

Doesn't "AETC" stand for "Alabama Eats The Cock"?

Boojum June 19, 2012 at 11:54 am

Why, yes. Actually, it is "Alabama Eats The Cock, Inc.", but you are substantially correct.

actor212 June 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

This show sounds more like something FOX would be interested in. They're used to broadcasting made up shit.

sewollef June 19, 2012 at 11:47 am

It's called balance fer god's sake.

After PBS puts on its communist shows, like Antiques Roadshow and Nature there has to be counter-balanced programming.

Stands to reason.

SpeedoFart June 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Or the History Channel.

noodlesalad June 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

Inaccurate portrayals of the Deist enlightenment-era philosophy that informed the Founding Fathers on public television pisses me off. Hilarious names like Clete Wetli do cushion the blow, however, so I owe the south some thanks.

BaldarTFlagass June 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

The coolest thing is that "Clete" is short for "Cletus."

Grokenstein June 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

(sings)
Most folk'll never lose a toe, but then again some folk'll…

Maman June 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

I am impressed that 6 people in Alabama will protest lying to the public even if it is to promote the baby Jesus.

johnnyzhivago June 19, 2012 at 11:08 am

Here's the bit on Betsy Ross:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXiyoRn-xlE

Schmannnity June 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

"Thomas Jefferson had a total boner for theocracy." Was Theocracy his nickname for Sally Hemmings?

Fare la Volpe June 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

He was heard to yell "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, JESUS CHRIST" whenever he was with her.

Pragmatist2 June 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

I look forward to their new Holocaust series.

YasserArraFeck June 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

I'm pretty sure Auschwitz was a giant bagel bakery….nothing to see here.

BarackMyWorld June 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm

So long as it explains that God let the Holocaust happen so the Jews could get Israel back and allow the end-times to begin.

Ducksworthy June 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I suddenly understand why the right doesn't find Mormonism so weird.

Shypixel June 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

I thought everybody knew that the Bible was originally a part of the constitution, until Hitler came back on his time-travelling Dinosaur, which had missed Noah's Ark, and forced the Founding Fathers to remove it, and to put in the part about religion.

But seriously… We laughed when they started to take over the radio waves 20-30 years ago too…

Doktor Zoom June 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

Srsly, Barton claims that because the Constitution includes the line "Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth,” that means that the Constitution incorporates the Declaration of Independence (with its "Creator" reference) into the Constitution itself, therefore the Constitution is all about God being at the core of the law.

Because the Founders forgot to mention God directly in the text, you know.

Chichikovovich June 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hey, Dok, you give great post. Thanks, and keep 'em coming!

sullivanst June 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

Barton claims a whole load of ridiculous shit. He's quite repetitive though, so these days basically anything he says has already been debunked by Chris Rodda.

RayneMan June 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hitler: "Why haven't I leaped yet!?"

Steverino247 June 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

The only good thing about Madison County Alabama is my older son was conceived there.

OK, so Wernher von Braun did some rocket stuff there, too. Big deal.

actor212 June 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

Wait. That's Huntsville's county???

sewollef June 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Oh, Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun….. that old Nazi party member?

I thought they all escaped to Argentina or Brasil? I didn't know Alabama was considered a haven for runaway nazis. Makes sense though.

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Let this be a lesson to you kids. If you don't learn your rocket science, then after the world stops your genocide you'll have to escape to South America instead of getting a cushy job with the U.S. government.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!

Steverino247 June 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

What? No rockets, which look like dicks, jokes? Wake up, sheeple!

actor212 June 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

I can almost hear the remaining board members…

"Say, you know how we could close the budget gap? Well, I bet if we could get companies to pony up some moneys in exchange for letting them put short programs on air with us, you know, to maybe provide bathroom breaks for people watching our 'Christian History of the United States'! Stick 'em right in the program!"

Estproph June 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

More interesting historical facts from David Barton:

Jesus Christ was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence!

Galileo Galilei was wrong! There is no such thing as gravity! Angels hold us all to the earth!

God made blah people's hair short and curly so that it could be used as a buff when they shine shoes!

All science is based on witchcraft!

actor212 June 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

There is no gravity, he's right: the earth sucks.

YasserArraFeck June 19, 2012 at 11:54 am

There is no such thing as gravity! Angels hold us all to the earth!

"In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Velcro….."

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Intelligent Falling is a perfectly good scientific theory, which simply raises questions about this so-called Gravity. Teach the controversy!

CindynEncinitas June 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Give us a choice!

mwittier June 20, 2012 at 1:34 am

Curly fries or potato cakes!

BaldarTFlagass June 19, 2012 at 11:14 am

Maybe they can show it on the SciFi/SyFy channel.

Biff June 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I think they need to start their own new channel, something like just Fy–not much Sy involved.

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Or the Syfyllis channel.

SorosBot June 19, 2012 at 11:14 am

Lying truly is one of Christianity's highest virtues.

DahBoner June 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I've NEVER met Christian wackadoodle who wouldn't lie directly to my face, and be proud of it.

EloquentScience June 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

That's my new band: Boner for Theocracy.

sullivanst June 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

Might I propose "Clete Wetli and the Boners for Theocracy"?

BaldarTFlagass June 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

"four members of the Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, which raises funds for Public TV in the state, resigned in protest."

I thought FakaktaSouth was the only liberal in Alabama.

Jus_Wonderin June 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

This makes my Clete Wetli.

proudgrampa June 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

"…it’s Alabama, so maybe that’s a centrist perspective…"

Holy crap, if that's centrism in Alabama, I'd hate to see the right wingnuttery there. Oh, wait, we have! Good ol' Judge Roy Moore:

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ten-command

Antispandex June 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

“Republicans and tea party representatives don’t get to re-write history to suit their own political agendas….."

Until AFTER Mitt is elected. Then, it's "home school for everyone", because the truth is just whatever you learn in school, plus the stuff you see on Pat Robertson's network. Besides, everyone knows the story of how the first thing the founders did was to jail all the dirty Jues and Muslins…it's in the Constitution.

Doktor Zoom June 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

Clete Wetli!

MumbletyRadio June 19, 2012 at 11:59 am

Stories with "characters' names like that practially write themselves… but I'm glad we reap the amusement that results when you're the one with the poison pencil, Doc~

randcoolcatdaddy June 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

Our hearts go out to you, Alabama. North Carolina public tv viewers have suffered through fawning programs on Billy Graham and Jesse Helms for years on UNC-TV.

RayneMan June 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Thank the non-existent divine entity for that "On-Off" button on the remote.

ManchuCandidate June 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

Only 200 years of scholarly study vs what one fundie believes.

Someone should demand that Lord of the Rings is actually the true story of how the US Amercia constitution was created. Frodo was really Thomas Jefferson and that they all lusted for Gold. I'm sure there are some emotionally shattered Paultards who would love to do that as they got nuttin better to do.

AbandonHope June 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

Yeah, but the 200 years of book-larning are ELITIST, and therefore false. QED.

Cato56 June 19, 2012 at 11:34 am

The preferred term for a Ron Paul supporter is Paulsy.

Mittens Howell, III June 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

Alabama has electricity?

ManchuCandidate June 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

Yeah, but I think a lot of smart folks are regretting rural electrification.

AbandonHope June 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

Which, at this point, I'm pretty sure was a big-ass mistake.

Antispandex June 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

Well just in the one real big city. You have to have it, even though it was invented by the devil, if you want to keep / have a cement pond.

Baconzgood June 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

Alabama Educational Television

Man where to begin with snarking on THAT!

EatsBabyDingos June 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

Next on 'Bama Public TV: "Why Jesus Loves Slavery and Hates Obama."

CindynEncinitas June 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Jews=slaves and he was a Jew! Duh! I'm Catholic and even I know that!

Geminisunmars June 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

With only slight modification "Clete Wetli" will be my new porn star name.

Mittens Howell, III June 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

Finally! An Alabama story that doesn't involve someone cornholing a squirrel.

DeathOfIrony June 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

coming from NC, I have to resist snarking on Alabama too much…I feel bad for the human beings that also inhabit places like Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

My question remains…what the fuck is going on? Are we really at least 51% insane and bat-shit crazy? Are we outnumbered by bass-ackwards idiots in this country? I used to be an optimist, but rapidly descending into a morose, pessimistic rage.

Alabama has Muscle Shoals, and some sweet soul music, so all hope is not lost.

Joshua Norton June 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

Please make this happen. Pleasepleaseplease. It'll make "Cop Rock" look like "Citizen Kane."

This doesn't just have FAIL written all over it, it's actually in the shape of the word "FAIL," made up of thousands of tiny little FAILs.

Awesome!

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Everybody jumps on the Firefly bandwagon, but no one wants to sign my "Bring back Cop Rock" petition.

jjdaddyo June 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, JEEBUS DID NOT DELIVER THE CONSTITUTION TO GEORGE WASHINGTON ON STONE TABLETS ON MOUNT RUSHMORE?

Joshua Norton June 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

Alabama Educational Television

Isn't that the channel they show QVC and "Hillbilly Hand Fishing" on?

Wilcoxyz June 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

You think Alabama's got problems putting this on public television? In Louisiana, a TV and the dvd box set makes your living room an eligible-for-state-funding charter school.

Chick-Fil-Atheist™ June 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

Watching David Barton appear twice on The Daily Show made me love Jon Stewart all the more. "Here, I'll give you an avenue for your crazy, because you sure won't get the boot in your ass on the Jimmy Swaggart Praise Hour."

Guppy June 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

Alabama Educational Television Commissioner Rodney Herring, a chiropractor

/sigh

Doktor Zoom June 19, 2012 at 11:37 am

His qualifications as a historian are just as valid as his medical credentials.

YasserArraFeck June 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

Bone-setter for Theocracy

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

The problem with America's education system, is that it is slightly out of alignment. But if you come for an adjustment twice a week for the rest of your life…

Chiropractors have some funny ideas about how the human muscular skeletal structure evolved, also. Too.

Guppy June 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm

The problem with America's education system, is that it is slightly out of alignment. But if you come for an adjustment twice a week for the rest of your life…

Wait… he's an orthodontist?

RayneMan June 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Well, that just means he already has experience bamboozling the American public.

It looks great on a resume, ya know…

"Professional Bamboozler"

Bam. Boozle. 'scuze me…I just fell in love with a word…..

*wanders off*

SayItWithWookies June 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

Too bad there's not some way to frighten Alabamians into believing that their eternal home in the afterlife is determined by a round of Jeopardy based entirely on facts. But then again, once you leave your public television to those in the chiropractic profession, you're already a good ways down the road to crazy.

MumbletyRadio June 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

SPINAL MANIPULATION LIBEL!!

Those vertebrae aren't gonna just "maladjust themselves," y'know~

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I cried when I watched All Supercomputers Go to Heaven.

mavenmaven June 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

I suppose the theocrats know as much about history as a chiropractor does about molecular biology.

hagajim June 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

Rod Herring slips Alabama a Red Herring.

Eve8Apples June 19, 2012 at 11:39 am

Coming soon to Alabama Public Television, America's storyteller Ken Burns channels his inner porn producer with his stunning 12 part series, "Thomas Jefferson had a Total Boner for Theocracy" with generous support by Trojan condoms and Viagra.

Urban_Achiever June 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

I dunno about this American Heritage Series, but I'd sure like to watch a program about that dude who brought such fine works of art to life, like "Jesus creating the Constitution," "Obama Trampling the Constitution," or my personal favorite, "Obama Burning the Constitution"–make that happen Barton!!

Doktor Zoom June 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

There are no happy little trees in that art show.

qwerty42 June 19, 2012 at 11:46 am

Kind of sad for the folks in Alabamy who aren't into teh krazy. Right now, though, they don't control the gov't there. Their only hope is that the fever breaks soon.

RayneMan June 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm

And who might those 3 people be?

qwerty42 June 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

This seems to be an infection of the white population. Perhaps correlated with age. Some skin pigmentation may (I stress 'may') confer some resistance (but probably not immunity). Might want to notify the CDC.

Naked_Bunny June 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

Alabamans don't need egghead PBS shows like Workplace Essential Skills, Barney and Friends, or, I dunno, Jersey Shore. Jerry Springer is still on, y'know.

SpeedoFart June 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Yeah, but isn't Jerry Springer a dirty, filthy Democrat?

We need more Maury Povich!

Chick-Fil-Atheist™ June 19, 2012 at 11:58 am

On the Wallbuilders site (what a great name for a bunch of Christian separatists. How soon before it's built, assholes?), Barton lists from February of this year that "The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion."

When I read the (biased) news article that referred to this change in policy, it was kind enough to admit a) that the forgiveness doesn't occur to groups engaged in "religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing", and b) there's no forgiveness for "a labor union or a partisan political organization"

shorter: "No soliciting." Is that really that fucking much to ask, you revisionist asshole?

gogogodzilla June 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Needz moar Drunk History: http://www.funnyordie.com/drunkhistory

Also–the Alabama state motto is "Thank God for Mississippi."

sewollef June 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Think of it this way… if there wasn't a Texas, or an Alabama, or a Mississippi or an Arizona, we'd have to invent them.

elviouslyqueer June 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I never thought I'd see the day when Alabama would out-Mississippi Mississippi. Bless their hearts.

GhostBuggy June 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

"The programming change was pushed by Alabama Educational Television Commissioner Rodney Herring, a chiropractor who was appointed to the AETC in 2011 by Gov. Bob Riley (who is — surprise! — a Republican)."

A chiropractor involved in something completely made-up and nonsensical? I am shocked and appalled.

DahBoner June 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Jesus was Jewish Native American.—Utah Mormon TV

Larry McAwful June 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I hope they air a special explaining how Noah's Ark almost foundered in the Erie Canal, but was saved through the faith of its captain. Teach the controversy!

Nostrildamus June 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

This country's proud "four bears" were probably Washington, Franklin, Adams & Hancock.
Hamilton was more of a twink.

RayneMan June 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I think I've seen that movie…

It ain't pretty.

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

But not Berenstain, that feminist wimp.

chascates June 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Wait a minutez! I was told all PBS is communist propaganda designed to destroy America from within. I haz a cognitive dissonance.

outragedcitizen June 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm

This is another example of why it is time that we acknowledge that Lincoln was wrong. The Southern states should be allowed to secede. In fact, they should be encouraged to do so.

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Allow them to secede, and divert our entire military budget toward arming the slaves with gunship helicopters and hellfire missiles.

Larry McAwful June 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Oh, I dunno. If they air more programming like this, then I'd say destruction is coming faster than we thought.

Barrelhse June 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I agree with the "Clete Wetli" part.
It's beautiful.

HELisforHEL June 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Dear Doktor Zoom,
If it was possible to up-fist the post proper, I would so be doing that right now.

TribecaMike June 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Also on Alabama Public TV, NOVA has been replaced by Veggie Tales and Sesame Street by Mike Huckabee's radio show.

Barrelhse June 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Rodney Herring- his nickname wouldn't be "Red", would it?

TribecaMike June 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Does this mean WAIQ in Montgomery won't be showing their annual Russ Meyer Film Festival?

viennawoods13 June 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm

A friend of mine grew up in Alabama, in an upper-class suburb. Until she moved to California in her mid-twenties, she didn't know that gun racks weren't standard equipment on pickup trucks.

TribecaMike June 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

This week on Masterpiece Mystery, Inspector Lewis attempts to solve the case of "Who The Fuck Let This Happen?"

ttommyunger June 20, 2012 at 7:29 am

Amazing, considering it's Alabama.

sewollef June 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

"And then we can nuke the fuckers from space, just to be sure their DNA doesn't spread to higher life forms. "

I'd call that the Dream Act.

Generation[redacted] June 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

If you came to this country as a child, studied hard in school, got an education, and never got arrested, then yes you can push the big red button.

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