deep

INDEPENDENT LENS
What Lies Upstream

 

In the unsettling exposé What Lies Upstream, investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback travels to West Virginia to study the unprecedented loss of clean water for over 300,000 Americans in the 2014 Elk River chemical spill. There he uncovers a shocking failure of regulation from both state and federal agencies and a damaged political system where chemical companies often write the laws that govern them. While he’s deep into his research in West Virginia, a similar water crisis strikes Flint, Michigan, revealing that the entire system that Americans assume is protecting their drinking water is fundamentally broken.

 

 

He was genuine, all right

 

CEO Message

Mister Rogers was genuine, all right

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI love this line from a Jimmy Buffett song: “I got a PBS mind in an MTV world.”

 

That describes the mind of the late Mister Rogers, too.

 

In fact, Mister Rogers met a vacationing MTV news producer on a summer stay in Nantucket and asked producer Ben Wagner about his job at the network, which favored short, dramatic edits (“jump cuts”) and quickie soundbites.

 

Mister Rogers in trademark sweater

 

Rogers listened attentively and told Wagner warmly: “I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.”

 

Wagner, impressed at Rogers’ gentle truths and authenticity, later produced an award-winning documentary, Mister Rogers & Me.

 

Right: Mister Rogers in trademark sweater

 

This month, PBS Hawai‘i presents Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like on Tuesday, March 6 at 8:00 pm. It’s a 50th anniversary celebration of the beloved longtime program that launched in 1968, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

 

Before Fred Rogers became “Mister Rogers,” he watched a commercial TV program featuring people smashing pies in each others’ faces. He concluded there were better things to do with the miracle of broadcast technology.

 

“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices,” he said. “And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”

 

One of his choices was to learn how to present a different kind of television.

 

Gaining TV experience as a floor manager on a kids show starring cowboy-actor Gabby Hayes (a one-time sidekick to Roy Rogers), Fred Rogers picked up counsel that he wouldn’t forget. He asked what the actor thought of as he looked at the camera, knowing there were a lot of people out there watching.

 

“He said, ‘Freddie, I just think of one little Buckaroo,’” Rogers recalled. “And I thought this was superb advice…He evidently thought of one child.”

 

Indeed, when Mister Rogers later faced the camera in his own TV neighborhood, many children felt that he was speaking directly to them, one on one. He addressed their unspoken fears – about controlling their anger and frustration; a loved one’s illness; the possibility of spiraling like water into the bathtub drain…

 

In effect, Fred Rogers turned a mass medium into hundreds of thousands of personal talks. In the television/video industry, we call this uncommon phenomenon “breaking the glass.”

 

At a national PBS conference that I attended, a speaker asked how many PBS staffers had entered the field because they were inspired by Mister Rogers. Scores of people stood up, many of them in their mid-20s and 30s.

 

As genuine as Fred Rogers was found to be by those who knew him well, his caring manner was parodied mercilessly by late-night comedy shows.

 

Rogers shrugged off the barbs, even appearing on the shows that made fun of him.

 

And he always assured children that “the greatest gift you give is your honest self.”

 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood welcomed us into its cheerful, positive environs until 2001. Fred Rogers died in 2003, at age 74.

 

His observations remain more apt than ever, including the theme that he shared those decades ago with the MTV producer:

 

What our society gives us is shallow and complicated. Life is deep and simple.

 

Aloha nui,

 

Leslie signature

NOVA
Killer Volcanoes

NOVA: Killer Volcanoes

 

Join NOVA and a team of volcanologists looking for an elusive volcanic mega-eruption that plunged the medieval earth into a deep freeze. Investigate the geologic evidence from Greenland all the way to Antarctica to identify the 750-year-old culprit.

 

GLOBE TREKKER
Food Hour: Deep South USA

 

Host Bobby Chinn samples Cajun and Creole cuisine in New Orleans and the surrounding Bayou country where he discovers the local fare in Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi. He visits Elvis Presley’s birthplace for a chat with The King’s childhood buddies in Tupelo and learns how to cook the perfect barbecue pork in Memphis after a stop at Graceland.

 

BIG BLUE LIVE


 

Big Blue Live
Mon., Aug. 31, 2:00 pm, encore at 8:00 pm
Tues., Sept. 1, 2:00 pm, encore at 8:00 pm
Wed., Sept. 2, 2:00 pm, encore at 8:00 pm

 

Join scientists, animal behaviorists and other experts in a live TV broadcast to view the once endangered, now thriving ecosystem of Monterey Bay, California. A coproduction between the BBC and PBS, this three part series will air live over three afternoons at 2:00 pm Hawaii time, with encores featuring updated content each evening at 8:00 pm.

 

Scientists, filmmakers, photographers and other experts will come together to film some of the world’s most charismatic marine creatures – humpback whales, sea lions, dolphins, elephant seals, sea otters, great white sharks, shearwaters, brown pelicans, blue whales and more – gathering at this time of year in Monterey Bay to feed on the abundance of food in these waters. Monterey Bay’s unique underwater geography, with a deep ocean canyon close to shore, brings species by the thousands into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Viewers can watch one of nature’s great reality shows, delivered through state-of-the-art filming technologies and live reports from air, by boat and below the waves, broadcast from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and from aboard Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary vessels, as well as from Monterey shoreline locations.