Wis[s]e Words

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Mon 30 Jul 2007

Dutch broadcaster censors David Attenborough on evolution

The Dutch public broadcaster EO (Evangelische Omroep/Evangelical Broadcaster) has a reputation to uphold when it comes to broadcasting quality wildlife documentaries, both their own as well as series they've bought from other broadcasters like the BBC. One series they recently broadcasted was David Attenborough's excellent (as per usual) Life of Mammals. However, something strange has happened with that series when it crossed the Channel: for some reason the Dutch version only has nine episodes, while the original has ten --and that's not the only difference.

It turns out that the EO has deliberately removed all references to evolution from the series, as demonstrated by the three videos below. Which is not too surprising, considering the EO is after all a fundamentalist Christian broadcaster and adhers to the doctrine of the literal truth of the bible. What exactly the EO has censored in Attenborough's series is now documented in several youtube movies, uploaded by somebody called Odurodon:

The first video compares and contrasts the BBC version with the EO version and shows which episode is missing from the latter.

This shows two scences cut from the EO's version of the first episode.

More cut scenes, this time from episode two.

If the EO had problems with the views expressed in Life of Mammals, they should either have declined to broadcast it or put in disclaimers at the start of the programme, not censor it. That they have done so shows a lack of intellectual integrity worrisome in a public broadcaster. Especially since they are using public funds to do this.

UPDATE: confused Richard for David Attenborough; now fixed. Reinder was good enough to link to this post and he has more information about this scandal; go read... Also, forgot to mention I first saw this story at Michiel.

UPDATE 2: English versions of the videos here.

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Posted by Martin Wisse at 1:37AM EDT [ Permalink] End of post.

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