On March 7th, PBS station CBT12 in Colorado is going to air the hagiographic Burzynski: Cancer is Big Business. CBT12 is notorious for using conspiracy theories to raise money at pledge time. It’s a cheap tactic. Last year, they aired the AE911 Truth movie during pledge week. It’s lucrative. Most conspiracy theorists, while they openly distrust mainstream media outlets, seem to yearn for the respectability that comes from being broadcast on them. And when their stories appear on CPT12, and I say this because the station continues to push this garbage, it seems that the conspiracy theorists reward the station.
I have come to expect the exploitation of ignorance on the part of CPT12. When it’s a truther movie, well, it makes PBS look bad, but that’s about it. But this movie has led so many people into Burzynski’s clutches, gotten so many patients entangled in his unpublishable trials and quack “gene therapy”, that I can say with a high degree of confidence that CPT12 is BANKING ON ITS VIEWERS’ LIVES.
Worse, at the breaks in the film, Eric Merola, the guy who contacted my employer in December, will be appearing alongside a spokesperson for the clinic to talk to the station’s fundraising director. This is unacceptable. Nonetheless, CPT12 has taken down misleading alt med propaganda before, so it is worth taking a strong stand and lobbying that they follow precedent and take this down.
Most importantly, one should contact Colorado state legislators who are also cancer survivors and alert them to this upcoming travesty, including state senator and esophageal cancer survivor Rollie Heath (email@example.com, (303) 866-4872, fax: (303) 866-4543) and state representative and breast cancer survivor Dianne Primavera (firstname.lastname@example.org, (303)-866-4667).
You might also contact the station, and demand that they either change their schedule or have an independent physician appear with Burzynski’s toadies. You know, because it’s a medical issue and a movie director and PR guy can’t add anything meaningful to the discussion.
Shari Bernson (she’s the host between breaks)
Director of Development
Willard “Wick” D. Rowland, Jr
President & CEO
Station: (303) 296-1212
Fax: (303) 296-6650
Also, please register a complaint with the PBS ombudsman about the movie being aired at all and this weird little station’s repeated tarnishing of the name of public broadcasting:
We are making only reasonable, responsible requests. PLEASE follow through and contact the station and the PBS ombudsman.
It might also be worth leaving a message for CPT12 on their Facebook wall:
I wonder if you can have the money you pledged to PBS refunded?