PBS Charged with Glorifying Baitfish Release

I just got a phone call from a reader in Arlington, Virginia--Ms. Jana West--who reported seeing an ad for a new kids PBS TV program called “PBS Sprout.” The contents, says West, is as follows: A father and his young daughter are going fishing with live baitfish. The little girl looks down at the bucket of cute, cuddly minnows (there is no indication they were caught in the water father and daughter are fishing) and feels sorry for them. She asks Dad if they can let them go. Sounds good to Dad. So they do. How sweet! How TV! How PBS! West, who had read our piece in FR&R “Where Baitfish Don’t Belong,” says she called the head of PBS advertising and was told that this ad was being broadcast nationally. Kids around the nation are being taught that it’s “kind” to vandalize native ecosystems. West says she explained about the dangers of introducing baitfish to waters where they do not naturally occur, asked that PBS drop the ad, and was told that “there had been no other complaints” and that the ad would continue airing nationwide.