Thursday, January 29, 2004
THE POLITICAL AD THAT CBS REFUSED
Interested readers can view the political ad, put together by Charlie Fisher and sponsored by MoveOn.org (here).
In a newspaper ad, entitled "Unsportsmanlike Conduct", MoveOn protests what can only be viewed as cowardly political censorship:
"Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, is refusing to run one of our MoveOn Voter Fund commercials during the Super Bowl, because it criticizes President Bush's $1 trillion in budget deficits"...Our Voter Fund commercial is dignified and factual. It was one of 1,500 public interest commercials submitted in a national contest, and was selected as the winner by a jury of leading filmmakers, as well as the public, which cast two million votes."
"This is about more than just a commercial; it's about political censorship. CBS was once the network of Edward R. Murrow. Apparently it's a long way from Murrow to Moonves."
An open letter sent by members of the US House of Representatives to CEO Moonves, makes some crucial points:
"We are writing to express our concerns about the decision of Viacom's CBS television network to deny MoveOn.org paid airtime during this year's Super Bowl"..."Censoring this ad is an affront to free speech and an obstruction of the public's right to hear a diversity of voices"...
"Issue ads are commonplace and important for democratic debate"..."CBS seems to want to limit that debate to ads that are not critical of the political status quo, and in the case of the MoveOn ad, of the President and by extension the Republican-controlled Congress".
Senator Durban's speech on the Senate Floor, examines some underlying machinations:
"This 30-second ad shows several children working unhappily in a variety of grown-up jobs"..."The ad ends with this line. 'Guess who's going to pay off President Bush's $1 trillion dollar deficit?'...So what is so controversial about these unambiguous facts that our children will be inheriting a large national deficit created since the time President George W. Bush took office"...
"The major pharmaceutical companies which will run ads on three different sexual dysfuntion drugs during the Super Bowl have also been consistently placed among the five top spenders on lobbying the Republican Congress and in soft money and PAC contributors to Republican candidates".
Senator Durban also seems to suggest that those who apply this kind of political censorship can also achieve an increasingly larger share of mass media, by virtue of political influence in Washington.