Thursday, January 29, 2004


Of all the hot-button issues that CBS might have refused to air, such as the stink of the internment camp, or the depredations foisted on the US Treasury and the Iraqis by George W. Bush's corporate paladins, Bechtel and Halliburton; they chose instead to censor a 30-second ad entitled "Child's Pay".

Interested readers can view the political ad, put together by Charlie Fisher and sponsored by (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 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.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

A Pleasant Reminder by Grayson.

". . . .I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. . . ."

--Thomas Jefferson to James Madison. January 30, 1787.

". . . .We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each State. What country before, ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. . . ."

--Thomas Jefferson to Colonel William Stephens Smith, referring to Shays insurrection in Massachusetts. December 20, 1787.

". . . .We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with CERTAIN inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. . . ."

--Thomas Jefferson. Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776.

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...