ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The PBS television station in Albuquerque pulled a documentary on evolution after discovering it was funded by evangelical Christian groups.
The show, “Unlocking the Mystery of Life,” challenges Darwin’s theory of evolution. It had mistakenly been slated to air Friday night, in a time slot reserved for the science show “Nova.”
“The funders of this program have a clear and specific agenda that they openly promote,” said Joan Rebecchi, KNME-TV’s marketing manager.
“KNME has no position regarding this agenda, but we must guard against the public perception that editorial control might have been exercised by the program funders,” she said.
Chad Davis, KNME program manager, said the show lists five Christian organizations as funders, including the Crowell Trust, whose Web site says it promotes “the teaching and active extension of the doctrines of evangelical Christianity through approved grants to qualified organizations.”
Supporters of the show called the decision not to air it censorship and questioned whether KNME’s decision was really based on content.
Ted Garcia, KNME’s general manager, said, “Had the program been produced from the perspective of an objective body, free of this perceived influence, the program would have been acceptable for broadcast with an appropriate disclaimer.”