Are the producers of ABC News Closeup ''more interested in entertainment than education, theatrics than truth,'' as charged by the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
The society is accusing ABC News Closeup of ''prejudice and deception'' in its generally derogatory June 3 documentary ''J. Edgar Hoover'' (previewed in the Monitor's June 3 issue). According to the society, its staff afforded ABC researchers ''comprehensive data concerning the history and accomplishments of the FBI under Mr. Hoover from 1924 to 1972,'' but ''none of the material furnished . . . appeared on the program.''
An analysis and investigation of the documentary and its preparation, sponsored by the society, conclude that the show was ''a disgrace to the television industry, an affront to the principle of freedom of the press, a mockery of journalism's standards, and a most undesirable invitation for outside censorship in such cases where internal safeguards for honesty and accuracy are woefully lacking or wantonly violated.''
In other words, the Society of Former FBI Agents didn't like the show.
ABC News has not yet replied to the detailed charges.