Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Crying Wolf Watch:I've been hearing a lot of talk of censorship concerning CBS's refusal to show an ad by the advocacy group attacking the President. Now, I'm not a fan of President Bush either, but the cries of censorship coming from MoveOn and many liberals is ringing a bit false. People may not like that CBS nixed on the MoveOn ad, but just because they said no does not mean that bookburnings are around the corner. CBS is a private company and it has a right to decide what it wants to show as much as MoveOn has a right to air the ad. Freedom of speech does not mean that people should simply bow down and heap praises on you because you say something. Now if the FCC said the ad could not run on any network, then of course that is censorship and I would be among those protesting. However, that did not happen.

The way that MoveOn and some liberals are acting, you'd think it was not going to ever be allowed on any network. Not true. As far as I know, the ad will run on other venues and the message will still come accross. But then, this was not about First Amendment issues. It was about getting this message to one of the widest television audiences and MoveOn was upset about that. The other thing is that MoveOn is one of the most tech-savvy operations there is out there. No doubt the ad is running on their website and on other websites as well. MoveOn has done a phenonmenal job of getting its anti-Bush message out to the general public. MoveOn has used the Internet to get itself publicity, so it is hard for me to see why they are crying censorship on something like this.

In my view, there is too much confusion between legitamate attempts at censorship or assaults on civil liberties like the Patriot Act and acts dealing with preference that are percieved as censorship. You can't call it censorship simply because someone criticizes you for something you said becasue someone does not run an ad.

But I guess in this age of victimization, it is far easier to portray oneself as the victim being bullied by large corporate interests even though you are well know organization that is not lacking in garnering media attention when it needs it.


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