Networks Censor the United Church of Christ!
Welcome to Bush World!
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2004, 3:10pm PT  

I've got many items on the drawing board today concerning GRAND THEFT AMERICA, including many tips, news items, and other developments that I'm currently looking into. I hope to be back with more news on that shortly.

For the moment though, this particular item is so chilling to me that I need to mention it here quickly.

You may have seen this on other blogs today, but if you've ever had any questions about the chilling effect of this Administration and its FCC's latest, intrusive and increasingly-hardline stance on those who broadcast over our public airwaves, please have a look at this item!

NBC and CBS have both refused to air a 30 second spot about tolerance and inclusion --- from the United Church of Christ, of all organizations! --- because it is "too controversial". Apparently, the response from CBS tells us, it is the oblique references to homosexuality that is the reason for the censorship. References, I might add, that are difficult to even notice without a prior heads-up that that's what the ad refers to in the first place!

Most chilling, is this part of the statement by CBS, as quoted in a statement from the UCC, on why CBS is refusing to carry the commercial on either of Viacom-owned CBS or UPN [emphasis mine]...

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations," reads an explanation from CBS, "and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."

In other words, a mere initiative or political position taken by the White House is now enough to intimidate the crap out of broadcasters so that they censor even messages of inclusion from hitting our airwaves!

Here's another quote from the press release:

"It's ironic that after a political season awash in commercials based on fear and deception by both parties seen on all the major networks, an ad with a message of welcome and inclusion would be deemed too controversial," says the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president. "What's going on here?"

"What's going on here?", indeed, Reverend!

I'd like to think even the farthest right-wingnut would be outraged by developments like this in the United States of America!

Here's the ad. Judge for yourself. And be very afraid!

Had enough yet, Bush voters? This is precisely what you asked for.

ACTION ITEM UPDATE: Click here to sign Act For Change's petition asking NBC and CBS to air the UCC's anti-bigotry ad.