"Torturing Democracy," a documentary examining the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies, will be shown on WNET in New York on Thursday and on a grab bag of other public television stations nationwide in coming weeks. But some of the country's viewers will have to watch online if they want to see the program anytime soon because PBS decided that no national airdate was available until Jan. 21, a day after a new presidential administration takes office.
The film's producer and writer, Sherry Jones, rejected that offer and, with the help of Bill Moyers, a PBS mainstay, has been appealing to stations individually to find time on their schedules before 2009. Stations serving about 85 percent of the nation's viewers have agreed to carry the program on some date. But a major gap is Washington. Mary Stewart, a spokeswoman for that city's largest public station, WETA, said, "It's a show we are looking at, but we haven't scheduled it yet."
Ms. Jones said, "Since it is a story about policy, driven from Washington, that is something I wish were different."