Why do wild animals matter more than “gypsies”?

Last month, Dr. Ian Hancock and other senior members of the Romani community lodged a formal protest with John Fahey and National Geographic’s Board of Trustees about American Gypsies, a new series on the National Geographic Channel.

“Your program is racist, slanderous, degrading, and possibly illegal,” Dr. Hancock wrote to Mr. Fahey, Chairman & CEO of National Geographic. “Stop making money by persecuting my people.”

Here is John Fahey’s response:

_____

For contrast, consider the uproar last week over plans for a new show on the National Geographic Channel, which was to feature hunter Melissa Bachman:

 These online protests shamed National Geographic into removing Ms. Bachman from the program:

_____

John Fahey National Geographic

Dear John,
 Why do animal rights matter here,
 but human rights don’t?

Jeff Collins: Insults, a threat… and then silence

For several weeks, I’ve been trying to get an interview with Jeff Collins, the executive producer of National Geographic’s TV series Meet The Hutterites. I asked Jeff, via Twitter, for an online Q&A; I called his office to try and set up a time to talk; and I made a formal interview request via the media relations folks at the National Geographic Channel. But no luck.

Best I can tell, Jeff Collins has no interest in describing exactly how he produced his reality TV series — even though shedding some light on what happened behind the scenes at Montana’s King Ranch Colony, where the series was shot, would probably help end the controversy that’s been swirling around the show for months.

Early this week, via Twitter, I once again asked Jeff why he refused to discuss the making of “MTH” (Meet The Hutterites). His response: insults and a threat.

Trying to maintain a positive tone, I replied:

Within 24 hours, Jeff disappeared — and shut down his Twitter account:

For those of us who had been chatting with Jeff on Twitter… well, we were puzzled:

Seeking honest answers to fair questions in a public venue clearly upset Jeff, which tells you most of what you need to know about the making of Meet The Hutterites.

Then again, Jeff may have simply taken a page from National Geographic’s increasingly familiar communications playbook: When confronted with uncomfortable questions, remain silent until the questions go away.

John Fahey National Geographic

What’s that stomach-churning odor?

Read the whole thing here.
____

John Fahey National Geographic

Dear John,
Do you have any major revenue-generating ideas 
other than turning over our Society’s future
to Rupert Murdoch?

We do.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch
if you’d like to hear the details.

Dear John: The Roma desperately need your help

Another open letter to John Fahey, 
Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society

Please see live links at bottom of this post.

Live links from above image:
≡  Like the Hutterites, they want you to cancel the show and issue a formal apology.
≡ The protest letter, press release, and other documents can also be read online here.
≡  Would you or Delores be willing to send along these documents & this link?
≡ We don’t have to let The Murdoch Method become Our Society’s New Way.

 

Watch as our Society pursues its official mission:
“To inspire people to care about the planet”

{ click image to enlarge }

John Fahey rarely, if ever, gives interviews.
But we’re requesting one — partly to ask him this question:
How does AMERICAN GYPSIES further
the National Geographic Society’s official mission:
“To inspire people to care about the planet”?

~
You can help us get an answer
by clicking Like, below.

~
332 more people like Dear John: Let’s Talk but we can’t include their names.
(They’re either not on Facebook, or they’ve asked to remain anonymous.)
If you’re in the same boat, please email me
alan [at] societymatters [dot] org
and I’ll increase the total tally by one.

_____
≡  Photo of toilet & TV, plus caption, via Boycott American Gypsies on Instagram

National Geographic TV producer Jeff Collins: “This has played out exactly as I hoped it would.”

Here’s Jeff Collins, executive producer of Meet the Hutteries,
in a blog post on his website in May:

Here are some of the Hutterites,
expressing their deep regrets
about their participation in this so-called “documentary”:

And here’s Jeff Collins again,
less than three months later,
surveying the controversy and all the damaged lives:

John Fahey rarely, if ever, gives interviews.
But we’re requesting one — partly to ask him this question:
Why is the National Geographic Society
silent during this media mugging?

You can help us get an answer to this question
by clicking Like, below.

~
331 more people like Dear John: Let’s Talk but we can’t include their names.
(They’re either not on Facebook, or they’ve asked to remain anonymous.)
If you’re in the same boat, please email me
alan [at] societymatters [dot] org
and I’ll increase the total tally by one.

“Deplorable”

_____
≡  Read the New York Times review here.
≡  Read the Los Angeles Times review here.  

Dear John: “Do the right thing”

To: John Fahey, Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society
From: Jim Wipf
Re: Meet the Hutterites on the National Geographic Channel

You can no longer stand by and silently approve of how David Lyle and Jeff Collins are prostituting our way of life and faith traditions for the sake of money and ratings. We expected something with more integrity from policy-makers at the prestigious National Geographic. The National Geographic episodes I watched thus-far show nothing of the deep-rooted spiritual values, celebration of family values that we hold so dear and the very values that our forefathers died for with Blood, Drowning and Sword. We feel and believe that God is deeply saddened by this and politely ask you to rescind from airing any future episodes. As a leader of Nat Geo the eyes of the nation are on you. You do have an opportunity to reclaim the Gold standards of Nat Geo.

May the Lord bless you with wisdom to do the right thing!

Jim Wipf
Viking, Alberta
Canada

National Geographic’s ‘Meet the Hutterites’: A Discussion on CBC’s Radio One

Thanks to producer Sean Prpick, host Mike Finnerty, and the whole team
at CBC’s The Current for inviting me to join this morning’s discussion
about the controversy surrounding Meet the Hutterites,
a new series on the National Geographic Channel.

History matters

{ Read the whole thing here. }

Our Society once bore witness:

From "China's Youth Wait for Tomorrow," National Geographic magazine, July 1991

But not anymore:

Chris Johns & Terry Adamson celebrate NGM's new publishing partnership in the People's Republic of China. (2007)

Why?
Listen to John Fahey, National Geographic’s Chairman & CEO:

John Fahey National Geographic

Dear John:
Why do you assume that the men who run the People’s Republic of China,
who clearly “know the world,”
will “change it for the better”? 
How does your notion of “better” differ from theirs?  

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.