The National Broadcasting Company is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network, a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles and Philadelphia; the network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting, it became the network's official emblem in 1979. Founded in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America, NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States. At that time the parent company of RCA was General Electric. In 1930, GE was forced to sell the companies as a result of antitrust charges. In 1986, control of NBC passed back to General Electric through its $6.4 billion purchase of RCA. Following the acquisition by GE, Bob Wright served as chief executive officer of NBC, remaining in that position until his retirement in 2007, when he was succeeded by Jeff Zucker.
In 2003, French media company Vivendi merged its entertainment assets with GE, forming NBC Universal. Comcast purchased a controlling interest in the company in 2011, acquired General Electric's remaining stake in 2013. Following the Comcast merger, Zucker left NBCUniversal and was replaced as CEO by Comcast executive Steve Burke. NBC has thirteen owned-and-operated stations and nearly 200 affiliates throughout the United States and its territories, some of which are available in Canada and/or Mexico via pay-television providers or in border areas over-the-air. During a period of early broadcast business consolidation, radio manufacturer Radio Corporation of America acquired New York City radio station WEAF from American Telephone & Telegraph. Westinghouse, a shareholder in RCA, had a competing outlet in Newark, New Jersey pioneer station WJZ, which served as the flagship for a loosely structured network; this station was transferred from Westinghouse to RCA in 1923, moved to New York City. WEAF acted as a laboratory for AT&T's manufacturing and supply outlet Western Electric, whose products included transmitters and antennas.
The Bell System, AT&T's telephone utility, was developing technologies to transmit voice- and music-grade audio over short and long distances, using both wireless and wired methods. The 1922 creation of WEAF offered a research-and-development center for those activities. WEAF maintained a regular schedule of radio programs, including some of the first commercially sponsored programs, was an immediate success. In an early example of "chain" or "networking" broadcasting, the station linked with Outlet Company-owned WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island. C. WCAP. New parent RCA saw an advantage in sharing programming, after getting a license for radio station WRC in Washington, D. C. in 1923, attempted to transmit audio between cities via low-quality telegraph lines. AT&T refused outside companies access to its high-quality phone lines; the early effort fared poorly, since the uninsulated telegraph lines were susceptible to atmospheric and other electrical interference. In 1925, AT&T decided that WEAF and its embryonic network were incompatible with the company's primary goal of providing a telephone service.
AT&T offered to sell the station to RCA in a deal that included the right to lease AT&T's phone lines for network transmission. RCA spent $1 million to purchase WEAF and Washington sister station WCAP, shut down the latter station, merged its facilities with surviving station WRC; the division's ownership was split among RCA, its founding corporate parent General Electric and Westinghouse. NBC started broadcasting on November 15, 1926. WEAF and WJZ, the flagships of the two earlier networks, were operated side-by-side for about a year as part of the new NBC. On January 1, 1927, NBC formally divided their respective marketing strategies: the "Red Network" offered commercially sponsored entertainment and music programming. Various histories of NBC suggest the color designations for the two networks came from the color of the pushpins NBC engineers used to designate affiliate stations of WEAF and WJZ, or from the use of double-ended red and blue colored pencils. On April 5, 1927, NBC expanded to the West Coast with the launch of the NBC Orange Network known as the Pacific Coast Network.
This was followed by the debut of the NBC Gold Network known as the Pacific Gold Network, on October 18, 1931. The Orange Network carried Red Network programming, the Gold Network carried programming from the Blue Network; the Orange Network recreated Eastern Red Network programming for West Coast stations at KPO in San Francisco. In 1936, the Orange Network affiliate stations became part of the Red Network, at the same time the Gold Network became part of the Blue Network. In the 1930s, NBC developed a network for shortwave radio stations, called the NBC White Network. In 1927, NBC moved its operations to 711 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, occupying the upper floors of a building de
The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium
The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium: O'Reilly vs. Stewart 2012 was a debate between Bill O'Reilly of The O'Reilly Factor and Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and moderated by CNN news anchor E. D. Hill, it took place on October 6, 2012, in Washington, D. C. starting at 8 pm with most of its audience viewing via subsequent download. According to The New York Times, O'Reilly and Stewart "have been guests on each other’s programs since 2001" but "rarely agree on anything except their mutual respect for each other"; the name of the event evokes the 1974 boxing match the Rumble in the Jungle. The format of the debate was broken up into two sections: the first half followed the usual "presidential debate" format, while for the second half, the three took seats closer to the audience and answered questions posted by the audience and viewers on the Internet. While the discussion topics were the same as the presidential debate a few days prior, much of the event was laced with humor: an oft-reused gag was the notable height difference between 6 ft 4 in O'Reilly and the 5 ft 7 in Stewart – to compensate, Stewart had a mechanical riser built into his podium, which he would use for comic effect.
Promotional posters had explicitly announced, "It's why Al Gore invented the Internet." A live internet stream and downloadable video files were offered for $4.95, with O'Reilly and Stewart donating half of the net profits to a number of charitable causes. The day after the debate was announced, tickets to attend the event live at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University were sold out. Technical troubles arose at the start of the debate, preventing thousands of users from being able to watch the event live; the event's Facebook page cited overwhelming demand as the cause. Many were outraged since they were still unprepared. Nox Solutions was cited as the company providing streaming services for the event. USA Today wrote: "It may not have been the most important debate of the 2012 presidential election season but it was so far, the most entertaining."The Tampa Bay Times wrote of the event: "O'Reilly and Stewart attacked each other's arguments but not their personalities, armed with facts and a fair bit of passion.
They didn't replace traditional news sources or change many minds, but they did offer a blueprint for debate that can inform and push forward the bounds of public discussion at once."At a post-debate press conference, Time noted that Stewart "resisted attempts to analyze the meaning and influence of the event" and that he had maintained his 2010 "Rally to Restore Sanity" was purely for entertainment value. The Christian Science Monitor described The Rumble as "a giant promotion to attract more followers" to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central and The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News" with the potential to serve as infotainment that would raise civic engagement. However, Nicholas Sywak of Salon.com felt the entertainment value was lacking and that it was "barely worth $4.95, much less a Saturday night." Political views of Bill O'Reilly Therumble2012.com
MTV is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks and headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys". At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is teenagers high school and college students. Since its inception, MTV has toned down its music video programming and its programming now consists of original reality and drama programming and some off-network syndicated programs and films, with limited music video programming in off-peak time periods. MTV had struggled with the secular decline of music-related subscription-based media, its ratings had been said to be failing systematically, as younger viewers shift towards other media platforms, with yearly ratings drops as high as 29%. In April 2016, then-appointed MTV president Sean Atkins announced plans to restore music programming to the channel. Under current MTV president Chris McCarthy, reality programming has once again become prominent.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U. S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving the channel as of January 2016. Several earlier concepts for music video-based television programming had been around since the early 1960s; the Beatles had used music videos to promote their records starting in the mid-1960s. The creative use of music videos within their 1964 film A Hard Day's Night the performance of the song "Can't Buy Me Love", led MTV on June 26, 1999, to honor the film's director Richard Lester with an award for "basically inventing the music video". In his book The Mason Williams FCC Rapport, author Mason Williams states that he pitched an idea to CBS for a television program that featured "video-radio", where disc jockeys would play avant-garde art pieces set to music. CBS rejected the idea, but Williams premiered his own musical composition "Classical Gas" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he was head writer.
In 1970, Philadelphia-based disc jockey Bob Whitney created The Now Explosion, a television series filmed in Atlanta and broadcast in syndication to other local television stations throughout the United States. The series featured promotional clips from various popular artists, but was canceled by its distributor in 1971. Several music programs originating outside of the US, including Australia's Countdown and the United Kingdom's Top of the Pops, which had aired music videos in lieu of performances from artists who were not available to perform live, began to feature them by the mid-1970s. In 1974, Gary Van Haas, vice president of Televak Corporation, introduced a concept to distribute a music video channel to record stores across the United States, promoted the channel, named Music Video TV, to distributors and retailers in a May 1974 issue of Billboard; the channel, which featured video disc jockeys, signed a deal with US Cable in 1978 to expand its audience from retail to cable television.
The service was no longer active by the time MTV launched in 1981. In 1977, Warner Cable a division of Warner Communications and the precursor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment launched the first two-way interactive cable television system named QUBE in Columbus, Ohio; the QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight on Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs. With the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite artists; the original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who became president and chief executive officer of MTV Networks. Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC-TV in the late 1970s. Pittman's boss Warner-Amex executive vice president John Lack had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format in the late 1970s.
The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network named Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge. Few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live. On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 AM Eastern Time, MTV was launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen and roll," spoken by John Lack and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia and of the launch of Apollo 11; those words were followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over the American flag changed to show MTV's logo changing into various textures and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a concept. A shortened version of the shuttle launch ID ran at the top of every hour in various forms, from MTV's first day until it was pulled in early 1986 in the wake of the Challenger disaster.
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, mime, etc, performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory; the term "drama" comes from a Greek word meaning "action", derived from "I do". The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy. In English, the word "play" or "game" was the standard term used to describe drama until William Shakespeare's time—just as its creator was a "play-maker" rather than a "dramatist" and the building was a "play-house" rather than a "theatre"; the use of "drama" in a more narrow sense to designate a specific type of play dates from the modern era. "Drama" in this sense refers to a play, neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's Thérèse Raquin or Chekhov's Ivanov. It is this narrower sense that the film and television industries, along with film studies, adopted to describe "drama" as a genre within their respective media.
"Radio drama" has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance, it has been used to describe the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of radio. The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception; the structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. Mime is a form of drama. Drama can be combined with music: the dramatic text in opera is sung throughout. Musicals include songs. Closet drama describes a form, intended to be read, rather than performed. In improvisation, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance. Western drama originates in classical Greece; the theatrical culture of the city-state of Athens produced three genres of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Their origins remain obscure, though by the 5th century BC they were institutionalised in competitions held as part of festivities celebrating the god Dionysus.
Historians know the names of many ancient Greek dramatists, not least Thespis, credited with the innovation of an actor who speaks and impersonates a character, while interacting with the chorus and its leader, who were a traditional part of the performance of non-dramatic poetry. Only a small fraction of the work of five dramatists, has survived to this day: we have a small number of complete texts by the tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides, the comic writers Aristophanes and, from the late 4th century, Menander. Aeschylus' historical tragedy The Persians is the oldest surviving drama, although when it won first prize at the City Dionysia competition in 472 BC, he had been writing plays for more than 25 years; the competition for tragedies may have begun as early as 534 BC. Tragic dramatists were required to present a tetralogy of plays, which consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play. Comedy was recognized with a prize in the competition from 487 to 486 BC. Five comic dramatists competed at the City Dionysia.
Ancient Greek comedy is traditionally divided between "old comedy", "middle comedy" and "new comedy". Following the expansion of the Roman Republic into several Greek territories between 270–240 BC, Rome encountered Greek drama. From the years of the republic and by means of the Roman Empire, theatre spread west across Europe, around the Mediterranean and reached England. While Greek drama continued to be performed throughout the Roman period, the year 240 BC marks the beginning of regular Roman drama. From the beginning of the empire, interest in full-length drama declined in favour of a broader variety of theatrical entertainments; the first important works of Roman literature were the tragedies and comedies that Livius Andronicus wrote from 240 BC. Five years Gnaeus Naevius began to write drama. No plays from either writer have survived. While both dramatists composed in both genres, Andronicus was most appreciated for his tragedies and Naevius for his comedies. By the beginning of the 2nd century BC, drama was established in Rome and a guild of writers had been formed.
The Roman comedies that have survived are all fabula palliata (comedies b
Elister L. "Larry" Wilmore is an American comedian, writer and actor. Wilmore served as the "Senior Black Correspondent" on The Daily Show from 2006 to 2014, hosted The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in 2015 and 2016, he is the creator of the sitcom The Bernie Mac Show. He served as an executive producer for the ABC television series Black-ish, he is the co-creator, alongside Issa Rae, of the HBO television series Insecure. Since May 2017, he has hosted a podcast, entitled "Black on the Air" in which he discusses current events and interviews a variety of guests. Wilmore was born on October 30, 1961, in Los Angeles County, California, to parents Betty and Larry, grew up in suburban Pomona, his family is from Illinois. Wilmore was raised Catholic, he is the third of six children. His brother Marc, is a television writer and producer; as a child, Wilmore found interest in topics such as science, science-fiction and fantasy, all of which have shaped the evolution of his comedy. In an interview with NPR, he described himself as a nerd, saying that "it used to be that the black comic figure had to have this bravado and always showed strength...now there's a comic figure where it's OK to just be a nerd and be black."Wilmore graduated from Damien High School in La Verne, California in 1979.
He studied theatre at Pomona. Beginning in the 1980s, Wilmore appeared in several small film and television roles, including a recurring role as a police officer on The Facts of Life. In the early to mid-1990s, he was on the writing staff of the talk show Into the Night With Rick Dees, the sketch comedy show In Living Color, the sitcom Sister, where he portrayed a bus driver in one episode. Wilmore went on to be a writer and producer on a series of sitcoms, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Jamie Foxx Show. In 1999, Wilmore co-created the animated comedy The PJs with Eddie Murphy and was executive producer until its conclusion in 2001, he subsequently created and produced The Bernie Mac Show, he won an Emmy for writing the pilot episode. He produced Whoopi, with Whoopi Goldberg. From 2005 to 2007, he was a consulting producer for The Office and made an appearance on the show as Mr. Brown, during the episode, "Diversity Day" as a diversity consultant. In 2006, Wilmore began appearing on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, where he was billed as the "Senior Black Correspondent" or a derivative form of the title, such as the "Senior Executive Commander-in-Chief Who Happens To Be Black Correspondent" following the election of Barack Obama.
His work on the show centered on humorous observations of the Black experience in American society. In January 2009, Hyperion published Wilmore's I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts, a political humor book described by Booklist as "a faux collection of articles, radio transcripts, letters exploring the more ludicrous angles on race." Wilmore originated the titular phrase I'd Rather We Got Casinos in a January 2007 Daily Show appearance. Wilmore has continued to make occasional acting appearances, including a role as a minister in I Love You, Man and a supporting role in Dinner for Schmucks. In 2011, Wilmore began a recurring role on the ABC comedy Happy Endings, where he played Mr. Forristal, Brad's uptight boss. Since 2012, Wilmore has starred in the Showtime special titled Race and Sex, shot in Salt Lake City. On April 30, 2016, Wilmore was the headliner at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, he came under fire for using the word "nigga" to refer to President Obama, saying "Barry, you did it my nigga."
Wilmore defended his actions by telling Al Sharpton "I wanted to make a statement more than a joke... I wanted to explain the historical implications of the Obama presidency from my point of view."In May 2017, Wilmore started hosting a podcast as part of The Ringer podcast network, headed by Bill Simmons. On January 19, 2015 Wilmore began hosting The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, a late-night panel talk show that aired on Comedy Central, it was a spin-off of The Daily Show, served as a replacement for The Colbert Report. It was produced by Jon Stewart's production company Busboy Productions; the show was criticized for a controversial segment featuring Bill Nye in September 2015, with Adweek characterizing it as the moment that Wilmore had "turned away from Colbert's legacy of intellectualism." The Nye segment may have negatively affected viewership, with ratings down more than half from the year before. On August 15, 2016, Comedy Central announced; the show ended on August 2016, with a total of 259 episodes.
In June 2017, Wilmore came under fire for comments. When reporting on the case of Otto Warmbier, an American student arrested in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to steal a propaganda sign, Wilmore ridiculed Warmbier. Wilmore referred to Warmbier as "Otto Von Crybaby" and suggested that Warmbier thought he had "Frat Bro Privilege". Otto Warmbier died on June 19, 2017, after being transferred from North Korea to the U. S. in a comatose state, after 15 months in prison. In his Black on the Air podcast on June 22, 2017, Wilmore offered an apology for his earlier remarks about Warmbier. Wilmore has cited Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Jon Stewart as comedy influences. Wilmore has said. I ride the subway. Ther
Jon Stewart is an American comedian, producer, political commentator and television host. He hosted The Daily Show, a satirical news program on Comedy Central, from 1999 to 2015. Stewart started as a stand-up comedian but branched into television as host of Short Attention Span Theater for Comedy Central, he went on to host The Jon Stewart Show and You Wrote It, You Watch It, both on MTV. Stewart has had several film roles as an actor but did few cinematic projects after becoming host of The Daily Show in 1999, he was a writer and co-executive producer of the show. After Stewart joined, The Daily Show gained popularity and critical acclaim, during his tenure, The Daily Show won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards. Stewart is known as an outspoken, humorous critic of personality-driven media shows, in particular those of the U. S. media networks such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC. Critics say Stewart benefits from a double standard: he critiques other news shows from the safe, removed position of his "news satire" desk.
Stewart agrees, saying that neither his show nor Comedy Central purport to be anything other than satire and comedy. In spite of its self-professed entertainment mandate, The Daily Show has been nominated for news and journalism awards among its accolades. Stewart hosted the 80th Academy Awards, he is the co-author of America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, one of the best-selling books in the U. S. in 2004, Earth: A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, released in 2010. Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on November 28, 1962, in New York City, to Marian, a teacher and educational consultant, Donald Leibowitz, a professor of physics at The College of New Jersey and Thomas Edison State College. Stewart's family are Jewish immigrants to America from Poland and Belarus. One of his grandfathers was born in Manzhouli, he is the second of four sons, with younger brothers Dan and Matthew. Stewart's parents divorced when he was eleven years old, Stewart was estranged from his father.
Because of his strained relationship with his father, which in 2015 he described as "still'complicated'", he dropped his surname and began using his middle name, Stuart. Stewart stated, "There was a thought of using my mother's maiden name, but I thought that would be just too big a fuck you to my dad... Did I have some problems with my father? Yes, yet people always view through the prism of ethnic identity." He had his surname changed to Stewart in 2001. Stewart and his brother Lawrence, the Chief Operating Officer of NYSE Euronext, grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where they attended Lawrence High School. According to Stewart, he was subjected to anti-Semitic bullying as a child, he describes himself in high school as "very into Eugene Debs and a bit of a leftist."Stewart grew up in the era of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, which inspired in him "a healthy skepticism towards official reports". His first job was working with his brother at a Woolworth's store, jokingly says being fired by Lawrence was one of the "scarring events" of his youth.
Stewart graduated in 1984 from The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he played on the soccer team and majored in chemistry before switching to psychology. While at William & Mary, Stewart became a brother of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, but disassociated himself from the fraternity and left after six months. "My college career was waking up late, memorizing someone else's notes, doing bong hits, going to soccer practice," he said. His soccer coach would describe him as a "good player" with "high energy". After college, Stewart held numerous jobs: a contingency planner for the New Jersey Department of Human Services, a contract administrator for the City University of New York, a puppeteer for children with disabilities, a soccer coach at Gloucester High School in Virginia, a caterer, a busboy, a shelf stocker at Woolworth's, a bartender at the Franklin Corner Tavern, a bartender at the legendary City Gardens in Trenton, New Jersey, he has said that working at City Gardens was a pivotal moment for him: "finding this place City Gardens was like,'Oh, maybe I'm not a giant weirdo.
Maybe there are other people who have a similar sense of yearning for something other than what they have now.' I think it inspired a lot of man. It was a creative environment, it was a place of great possibility." With a reputation for being a funny man in school, Jon Stewart returned to New York City in 1986 to try his hand at the comedy club circuit, but he could not muster the courage to get on stage until the following year. He made his stand-up debut at The Bitter End, where his comedic idol, Woody Allen began, he began using the stage name "Jon Stewart" by dropping his last name and changing the spelling of his middle name "Stuart" to "Stewart". He jokes this is because people had difficulty with the pronunciation of Leibowitz or it "sounded too Hollywood", he has implied that the name change was due to a strained relationship with his father, with whom Stewart no longer had any contact. Stewart became a regular at the Comedy Cellar. For two years, he would perform at 2 a.m.. In 1989, Stewart landed his first television job as a writer for Caroline's Comedy Hour.
In 1990, he began co-hosting Comedy Central's Short Attention Span Theater, with Patty Rosborough. In 1992, Stewar
Maziar Bahari is an Iranian Canadian journalist, film maker and human rights activist. He was a reporter for Newsweek from 1998 to 2011. Bahari was incarcerated by the Iranian government from June 2009 to October 20, 2009, has written a New York Times best seller family memoir, Then They Came for Me, his memoir is the basis for Jon Stewart's 2014 film Rosewater. Bahari founded the IranWire citizen journalism news site, the freedom of expression campaign Journalism Is Not A Crime and the street art and social justice project Paint the Change, he serves on the Anti-Defamation League Task Force to Protect Minority Communities of Middle East. Bahari was born in Tehran, but moved to Pakistan in 1987 before he immigrated to Canada in 1988 to study communications, his family has been involved in dissident politics in Iran: his father was imprisoned by the Shah's regime in the 1950s, his sister Maryam under the revolutionary government of Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. She died of leukemia, he is married to Paola Gourley, an Italian-English lawyer working in London, who gave birth to their first child in October 2009 shortly after his release from prison.
He graduated with a degree in communications from Concordia University in Montreal in 1993, before continuing some additional studies at the nearby McGill University. Soon after, Bahari made his first film, The Voyage of the Saint Louis, about the attempt by 937 German Jewish refugees to escape Nazi Germany on that ship in 1939, who were turned away by Cuba, the United States, Canada, forced to return to the Third Reich. In producing the film, Bahari became the first Muslim to make a film about the Holocaust; when asked what motivated him to make the film, he cited the courses he took at Concordia, where he: studied the modern history of the Jews and I was fascinated by the history of the Jews in North America. I took a course on Freud and religion and the professor talked a lot about early 20th century anti-Semitism in the U. S. and Canada. I had no idea that up until the 1950s Jews were discriminated against in North America, so I wanted to explore that further; as an immigrant, I was interested in the history of Jewish immigration from Europe to America.
So I came across the story of the St. Louis. While he was imprisoned in Iran the film "haunted" him, with his interrogators accusing him of being on a mission to work for Zionists. In 1997 Bahari began reporting in Iran and making independent documentaries, in 1998 he became Newsweek magazine's Iran correspondent, he has produced a number of other documentaries and news reports for Channel 4, BBC and other broadcasters around the world on subjects as varied as private lives of Ayatollahs, African architecture, Iranians' passion for football and contemporary history of Iran. In 2003, Harvard Film Archive praised Bahari's work: "In a country known for neorealist fiction films that focus on small events in the lives of individuals, the work of Iranian director Maziar Bahari is somewhat anomalous. Employing a traditional documentary style to explore more far-reaching cultural events, Bahari’s films provide a glimpse inside contemporary Iranian culture as they reveal the human element behind the headlines and capture cultural truths through the lens of individual experience.
Representing a new generation of young Iranian filmmakers, Bahari’s trenchant looks at social issues in his country have brought both controversy and international acclaim." Bahari's films have won several awards and nominations including an Emmy in 2005. A retrospective of Bahari's films was organized in November 2007 by the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. In September 2009, Bahari was nominated by Desmond Tutu for the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord known as Spain's Nobel Prize. On the morning of June 21, 2009, during the 2009 Iranian Election Protests, Bahari was arrested at his family's home in Tehran and taken to Evin Prison. In July, while incarcerated, he appeared in a televised confession telling his interviewer that Western journalists worked as spies, his confession was dismissed by his family, his colleagues, Reporters Without Borders, saying that it must have come under duress. Outside Iran, an international campaign to free him was headed by his wife and included petitions launched by Committee to Protect Journalists, Index on Censorship, International PEN, groups of documentary filmmakers.
Newsweek ran full-page advertisements in several major newspapers calling for his release. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke publicly of his case. On October 20, after 118 days in jail and charged with 11 counts of espionage, Bahari was released on $300,000 bail. Bahari says he was asked to promise to spy on dozens of "anti-revolutionary elements" inside and outside Iran for the Revolutionary Guard and report to them weekly, he was allowed to return to London days before the birth of his daughter. After his release, Bahari recounted his time in prison in writings, he appeared on a segment of the television news program 60 Minutes and was the subject of an article in Newsweek. Bahari stated he confessed on television after psychological torture, he was held in solitary confinement, interrogated daily, threatened with execution, slapped, kicked and hit with a belt by his interrogator. Bahari's interrogator told him they knew he "was working for four differe