Ken Burns: The National Parks

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The latest PBS series by Ken Burns, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, premieres tonight at 8pm. Time notes that in addition to serving up "plenty of unobjectionable, pledge-drive-friendly nature porn," Burns' latest work is also "his most topical and political film yet:"

With America frothing over the role of government -- should it save banks? should it expand health coverage? -- The National Parks makes a simple case for an idea that is wildly controversial in the year of the tea party: That we need government to do things the private sector can't or won't.

The LA Times follows this thread by suggesting that Burns is a "secret propagandist for socialism,"

...the entire origin of the national park system, whose most passionate backer was a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, is based on a firm belief in -- Glenn Beck, cover your ears, please -- government intervention to regulate an out-of-control free-enterprise system.

In addition to such conservation efforts as establishing the United States Forest Service and signing the Antiquities Act, TR also busted trusts, regulated the railroads, and put in place both the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act to protect America's food supply. When they find out that he also earned a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War, clueless teabaggers will probably call Roosevelt a socialist/Nazi/communist (or some other equally nonsensical formulation).

I'd love to see Burns chronicle the Progressive movement for his next series. In the meantime, there are 12 hours of National Parks to watch...set your DVR!

[typo fixed]

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I think the National Forests and all of Nature should be preserved, especially in areas where the building has gone out of control. We need some trees and "green" stuff around...or we will go totally mad.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 27, 2009 2:14 PM.

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