Wednesday, December 01, 2004

CBS and NBC wallow in cowardice

"(Cleveland, Ohio) CBS and NBC are refusing to run television commercials for the United Church of Christ calling the ads "too controversial".


As reported first by 365Gay.com, the 30 second commercials are aimed at attracting gays and others who feel alienated by other denominations. (story)


The 30-second commercial features two muscle-bound "bouncers" standing guard outside a picturesque church and selecting which persons are permitted to attend Sunday services. Written text interrupts the scene, announcing, "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we." A narrator then proclaims the United Church of Christ's commitment that: "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."


You can find the full article at 365gay.com


I'm of two minds about this. As private companies, CBS and NBC have the right to air what they like and to prohibit the airing of what they do not like. However, they have the exclusive use of certain frequencies on the PUBLIC airwaves. I think we need to get the FCC to start requiring that TV and Radio Stations that want to reserve a particle bandwidth for their commerical use to be willing to acknowledge that their stations are, at the very least, limited public forums. They need to have well thought out rules for declining advertisers for reasons better than being "too controversial." Their statment that:


"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."


... is just downright scary. I don't even blame the Bush administration for this. They are not responsible for the fact that the executives of CBS and NBC are craven and cowardly. Please note that even FOX, which gets dumped on by Libs all the time, has accepted the ad.


For two networks that are supposed to be "Liberal", they sure don't act like it.


One further note... of pride. My Grandfather was a minister for the UCC.