The Madison County (Ala.) Democratic Party issued a statement today (June 16) calling for the resignation of the Alabama Educational Television Commission members responsible for the terminations June 12 of APT Executive Director Allan Pizzato and his deputy, Pauline Howland, as well as reinstatement of four Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority board members who resigned in protest.
At least one commissioner had requested that the station air videos featuring David Barton, an evangelical minister and conservative activist whose publications and media appearances promote his theories about the religious intentions of America’s founders. Pizzato and staff that reviewed the content had “grave concerns” that the videos were inappropriate for public broadcasting due to their religious nature, Howland said.
Clete Wetli, Democratic party chair, responded in the statement, saying in part: "Our state elected officials and their political appointees are pushing their personal agendas at the expense of one of the core beliefs our country was founded upon: to include a very clear separation of church and state. There is plenty of room on the TV dial for religious programming, but not on state-supported stations. PBS and APT have always been for educational television, and the programming being pushed strays far from that mission.”