Thursday, May 03, 2018

Director calls PBS documentary on Malheur refuge occupation 'a story about American identity'

By Kristi Turnquist

The 41-day armed occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016 was a media sensation. The self-described “patriots” who took over the refuge, the FBI, and Harney County residents caught in the middle all added up to drama that drew local coverage -- including The Oregoian/OregonLive’s comprehensive reports – and national attention, with stories emerging on a daily basis. Among those on hand to chronicle the showdown was David Byars, an independent filmmaker whose documentary about the Malheur occupation, “No Man’s Land,” airs on the PBS “Independent Lens” series Monday, May 7. Byars thinks the fact that he was on the ground in Harney County, but not issuing daily reports, helped him in gaining access to some of the occupiers who followed Ammon and Ryan Bundy -- sons of rancher Cliven Bundy -- to Oregon. “They were dissecting all the news reports that were coming out about them,” Byars says, during a phone interview. “They were taking issue with anything that wasn’t toeing the line with how they pictured themselves. I was just there, with my little camera, good, old, non-threatening David. I wasn’t putting out any content at all, because I had no outlet. I think that made them comfortable speaking to me.”...Interviews with journalists who covered the occupation, including former Oregonian/OregonLive reporter Les Zaitz, Montana-based journalist Hal Herring and writer Linda Tirado add some necessary context...The “American Experience” documentaries “were more informational to me, and less narrative,” Byars says. “I wanted to tell a story. There’s something about shattering that fourth wall with a narrator that really creates space between the audience and the story, and I wanted not to do that.” Instead, Byars says, “I really wanted this story to be told by the people who were there, who were on the ground living this thing.”...MORE 

Here is the PBS trailer for the documentary:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a trend here of these "impartial, unbiased" documentaries being aired by PBS shortly before a trial is about to take place that pertains to the Oregon & Nevada protests.

And they're always aired before jury selection.

Finicum's case will soon take place.

Also strange is the timing of the recent disappearance of all comments from previous articles on the Oregonian's comment boards.... the most hate-mongering media source that's embedded with reporters & commenters who seem to be working on behalf of the government.

Until recently, articles several years old still showed comments... now articles only 5 months old have comments erased.

The Oregonian's piece about the Malheur aquittal had over 5,000 comments, which was about 900 more than the article announcing Trump's election.

One Oregon defense lawyer blogged about how a reporter wrote negatively about someone who was a defendant in an upcoming trial.

When that trial started, that same reporter quit the Oregonian to work for the prosecutor during on that case ...then after the trial ended, the reporter went back to work for the Oregonian.

During the Malheur protest... there was talk amongst various gov't employees in an email chain that expressed concern that protesters' message was gaining more favorability among the ranching community... and that the ranching community had also become resentful of the media's over-the-top reference to them as being uneducated welfare ranchers and other bigoted labels that they said was overdone by the OPB.