Saturday, October 08, 2011

The problem that is Ken Burns


"How could a nation built on rights go so wrong." Referring to Prohibition. I see that ad on the subway nearly every day for Ken Burns' new PBS documentary. Watching it now makes my respect for Burns and TV documentaries and PBS plummet (it had been quite high before). It makes me appreciate how much smart sounding Public TV is as nonsense filled as a typical Michael Moore movie. I thought PBS was above that. It's not at all clear that Prohibition was bad, and doesn't seem so different than many anti drug laws we have today, which is perhaps the point, but it's just really poor social science. I was thinking this even before my friend Emily Owen's (who does research in this area) wrote her commentary for the NY Times.
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