NGT & Adelstein reach “some kind of agreement”

May 10, 2011, 10:50pm
by Eriq Gardner

National Geographic Channel was originally scheduled to air a documentary on the Japanese mafia tonight. But the network pulled the show, Inside the Yakuza, after being sued by an American journalist who claimed the airing of the program could “literally be a matter of life or death” for anybody who worked on it. The network says, however, that it is standing behind the documentary and intends to soon announce a new scheduling date.

Late last week, the parties came to some kind of agreement. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, but neither party will disclose the nature of the resolution.

A spokesperson for the network, though, says that the show will air at a new time, and without commenting on whether the show has now been modified. The statement reads: “National Geographic Television stands behind its program on the Yakuza. We have only one standard for our documentary productions and that is factually accurate programs. For the production of this program, NGT has acted according to the highest ethical and journalistic standards.”

Read the whole thing here.

We’re delighted that the parties came to “some kind of agreement,” especially if this means Mr. Adelstein’s life is no longer in danger.

But the resolution raises as many questions as it answers.

(See our earlier coverage here.)

  • I believe Jake is less concerned for his own safety than for the safety of people who cooperated with NGS on his say-so.

    • Point taken, Isaac. From all I know, Jake has taken a wide-angle view of the potential impact of the NG production. It wasn’t just about his own safety, nor about lining his own pockets. Best I can tell, he acted on principle.  

      Unfortunately, though, the details of the agreement between Jake & NGT are unknown. We don’t know why NGT delayed the broadcast; we don’t know if the show will be altered in any way; we don’t know if there was any financial settlement; we don’t know much at all. 

      Which leaves us with what we “believe” instead of with the details of what actually transpired behind the scenes. Left in the dark this way, it’s easy to dream about what might have really happened here. 

      One thing I’d bet on: If Jake Adelstein were covering this story, he’d get to the bottom of it. 

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