Deb, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I have a somewhat unpopular stance on the issue, but first, here is the email that you sent to all of us loyal CR’ers so that our readers can get up to speed:
A non-partisan group scheduled air-time to promote a terrorism related conference, only to have the ad rejected by CBS because “Too many people might be emotionally affected by the subject matter — it’s too controversial to be aired at this time.”
We are at war and people around the world (over 100 in Iraq this last weekend) are dying because of the barbaric acts of terrorists, but incredibly, the liberal media is afraid a radio ad would be too emotional!?
As a news corporation that is privately owned, they have a business to run first, and a social conscious to maintain second. If they feel that certain advertisements will hurt their brand name or disenfranchise viewers, then by all means it is also their right to accept/decline those advertisements as they see fit. It looks and smells of censorship on the surface, but it isn’t because CBS is not set up in the public interest. If you think that they are, then they have done a most excellent job of providing you with an illusory vision to attach yourself to.
The smoke and mirrors of our supposed “freedoms” and “liberties” are revealed by situations like this. Yes, we’re the freest people in the world, but no we’re not nearly as free as we think we are because things like this happen all the time without our noticing. Personally, I think CBS should have let the advertisement run, but that’s because the War on Terror is something I fully support.
If the advertisment had been for Viagra or a baby-fetus fetish support network, then I would obviously support CBS if they censored those things because I would agree with them. So then maybe, this IS an example of us being as free as we think we are. CBS, as a legal entity independent of the people and things that comprise it, made a decision that I, as a legal entity independent of the people and things I interact with, disagreed with. That, however, is the very definition of freedom. It’s friction, it’s discontent, it’s hard; but we live with it, because the alternatives are even more haunting and altogether dispicable.