WBGH gets in 'Frontline' tussle with PBS

Feb. 21, 2005 at 8:20 AM

BOSTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Boston's Public Broadcasting Service affiliate is calling on PBS affiliates to air an unusually realistic documentary on the Iraq war.

WBGH's "Frontline" has produced a film on the U.S. Army's 8th Cavalry Regiment life in Baghdad -- swear words and all, the Washington Times said Monday.

Denied in their attempt to get PBS headquarters to make the uncut version of "A Company of Soldiers" the primary feed Tuesday evening to their 349 affiliates, WBGH is urging affiliates to broadcast the uncut version, available as a secondary feed.

"The language of these soldiers is sprinkled with expletives, especially at their moments of greatest fear and stress. As we edited the program, we were judicious, but came to believe that some of that language was an integral part of our journalistic mission: to give viewers a realistic portrait of our soldiers at war," wrote "Frontline" producers David Fanning, Michael Sullivan and Louis Wiley in a memo Thursday.

Meanwhile, PBS is asking affiliates who show the unedited version available on the secondary feed to sign a waiver.

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