Alabama Public Television CEO fired for refusing to air David Barton’s revisionist history
The firings of Pizzato and Howland resulted in the resignation of all non-Commission members of the station’s fundraising team — including one, Joe Mays, who had served for 20 years — as well as five of the seven members on the Board of Directors. And it was one of the former board members — the source remains unnamed — who claimed that the commission had attempted to ‘force Pizzato to air Christian-themed programming by … Barton.’
(It should be noted that the firings, lawsuit, and resignations come amidst some of the steepest cuts in public television funding yet seen across the state. Between 2008-11, the station lost 50 percent of its state funding, forcing it to shutter its Montgomery bureau and lay off 19 members of its staff.)
The programming in question, which was being considered for inclusion on APT at the time of the firings, was the ‘American Heritage Series,’ a set of documentaries examining the ‘new version of history [that] has assaulted the moral and spiritual fiber of our nation.’ The videos are produced by WallBuilders, an organization founded and directed by Barton.
According to Howland, Pizzato and his staff shared ‘grave concerns’ over airing Barton’s material, but members of the AETC maintain that Pizzato’s views on the matter played no role in his firing.