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Tolerance message from United Church of Christ censored

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Do think messages of tolerance and inclusion should be censored?

Yes, we need censorship for freedom.
2
8%
Yes, censorship is the price of civility.
0
No votes
Yes, only religious views of bigotry and prejudice should be allowed
7
28%
No. We love our freedom.
16
64%
 
Total votes : 25

Tolerance message from United Church of Christ censored

Postby True Blue » Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:11 am

What have we come to in this nation? The United Church of Christ today sought to air a commercial (over the public airwaves no less). Both CBS and NBC refused to air the commercial, apparently because it is "too controversial."

CBS actually said that, " 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."

So... disagreeing with the President is not allowed. Nor is disagreeing with the Religious Reich. Holy shit!

You can see the press release from UCC here: http://www.ucc.org/news/u113004a.htm

And, you can see their excellent ad here: http://www.stillspeaking.com/default.htm
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Postby kurt_w » Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:21 am

I've got quite a few friends in UCC and a number of them are acquiring yard signs with the "God is still speaking" message.

The pessimist in me says that this is just another manifestation of the broader phenomenon of red states/towns/groups getting redder, and blue ones getting bluer. Kind of like the way that most of the mainline Christian denominations split into separate Northern and Southern branches over the issue of slavery, prior to the Civil War.

As for the networks' refusal to air this ad campaign, it's just another example of their unwillingness to do anything, however mild, that might anger the religious right.
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Postby lefty » Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:24 am

This makes about the 5th time in the last month that I have written to at least one of the major networks for stupidity, censorship or extreme bias.

These are the networks that run the Billy Graham crusades and cover the Pope every time he farts, but the Christian messages of inclusion and compassion are too controversial? We're in trouble.
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Postby True Blue » Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:35 am

Yes, it's definitely sad.

The phone number to talk to a person at CBS is 212-975-3247. They open at 10 AM eastern time. They'll be hearing from me.

I hope the online community can organize around this one. It's just plainly crazy.

I do recall that Viacom, tied to CBS, also disallowed ads on MTV critical of Bush on the runup to the election. They didn't want advocacy in that case. (Rock the Vote doesn't count because they can advocate, others can't...)

Sad... and crazy.
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Postby True Blue » Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:17 am

I called that number. It's a complaint line where they take tallies and file a daily report.

They'll talk to you for less than a minute. Go ahead and call.

Although I'd prefer to get a phone number for the executives involved....
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Postby True Blue » Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:42 am

Here is the phone number to call NBC. It's a toll call, but it only takes a minute.
212-664-2333
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Postby True Blue » Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:45 am

Hey, Flanders, care to defend this action by the networks?
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Postby roadkill bill » Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:19 pm

Weasels. The NBC number has a recording specifically saying they have nothing to do with commercial content. They don�t give you another number to leave comments about that.

The CBS number lets you leave a message, but again, says it is only regarding programming.

I left a message anyway. Time to do a little research to find other phone numbers or emails to use.
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Re: Tolerance message from United Church of Christ censored

Postby Mike S. » Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:16 pm

True Blue wrote:CBS actually said that, " 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."


That's pretty revealing as a look in the role of a network in national debate. If there's a proposed constitutional amendment, naturally no one should be allowed to contradict it in any way?

What's weird is that this ad doesn't explicitly mention "gay marriage", so far as I know (the site was too slow for me to actually look at). Maybe a more honest explanation would have been taken as offensive by someone ("We're afraid that if we show an ad with bouncers kicking people out of a church, that we'll get sued by Jerry Falwell for libel"). On the other hand, maybe they've decided to use "gay marriage" as a codeword for universal anti-gay sentiments - who knows?

The only thing that doesn't seem involved is this "red state blue state" nonsense. What state is Fox in, that they're willing to show the ad? I thought they were a Red Network anyway? Give me a break.
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Postby Igor » Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:04 am

A couple observations about this topic:

- I believe that censorship is technically only when a government limits speech or the press.

- Either media outlets can pick their advertisers, or they can't. People certainly can protest those decisions as described above, but it is tough to tell "Highlights for Kids" that they have to run the Trojan ad.

- I really thought that this thread would mention that hallowed wall between church and state.
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Postby ShaneDog » Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:17 am

Igor wrote:A couple observations about this topic:
- I believe that censorship is technically only when a government limits speech or the press.

Actually censorship is pretty much any attempt to supress information. The agent of censorship can be the government, the media, or your sunday school teacher.
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Postby ShaneDog » Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:26 am

Igor wrote:A couple observations about this topic:
- Either media outlets can pick their advertisers, or they can't. People certainly can protest those decisions as described above, but it is tough to tell "Highlights for Kids" that they have to run the Trojan ad.

It's not as simple as that. Of course media outlets have the right to choose which ads to run but that doesn't mean they're not guilty of censorship when they choose not to run what seems to be a fairly uncontroversial ad for fear of offending politicians. As long as they also reject anti-gay ads I guess I'm fine with it but somehow I doubt they would do that.
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Postby roadkill bill » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:18 am

Too controversial, bah!

The political ads we had to endure for months on end were sweetness and light. No ugly images or hurtful messages there.

Weasels, all of them.

Actually, now I feel bad for giving weasels a bad name by associating them with network executives.
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Postby Galoot » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:29 am

Wow...this is just astoundingly absurd. And people think I'm going overboard by wanting to move to Canada or New Zealand? What the FUCK is happening to this country?

Two major news networks are refusing to air an ad from an ecumenical Christian church, because it IMPLIES that gay couples should be allowed to go to church together?

I watched the ad twice, and I didn't even see anything explicit about gay couples. I saw one woman put her hand on another woman's shoulder. That's "too controversial"?

This country is right out into loony-land. I feel like the frog in the pot of boiling water, but dammit, I'm NOT tolerating this nonsense just because it is slowly getting worse and worse.

This is FUCKING RIDICULOUS!! I'm off to call CBS and NBC.
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Postby roadkill bill » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:14 pm

Did you notice the little girl with her arm around her little friend? Obviously future lesbians! Worse yet, one was black, and one was Asian.

Horrors!
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