Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Attempt To Censor MSNBC

I have certainly gone over my usual one posting a day six days a week but as this is my day off and with a post today by David Badash which I have read at The New Civil Rights Movement I need to respond now rather than tomorrow.

Badash's posting is about the religious group Faithful America which on Tuesday went to 30 Rock to present 20,000 signed petitions to MSNBC to stop inviting Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council on MSNBC news/commentary programs as a guest when discussing Conservative views or topics.

Without coming right out and saying (although he did so in so many words on his Google+ link) that he is in agreement he does put a link in his posting offering to his readers to sign the petition and also a link to the groups Facebook page.

There will be, if not already, others in the LGBT blogosphere who will feature this story and agree that Perkins should not be allowed on any news media programs or as part of a reported story because of the group's anti-gay views and because Perkins' group has been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Which brings me to my response. If any of those including Badash who are in favor of not having Perkins on media programs then they have about as much in common with real journalists as the milk man. To wit they are not journalists.

Anyone who has ever worked in the news media, including myself, would see this as a true form of attempting to censor a news organization from outside forces, which unfortunately has been done time and time again by the likes of GLAAD and HRC.

News divisions are autonomous (or at least perceived to be) from their parent corporate owners and other divisions within that corporation.

One way to look at it this for those who have never worked in the media is the advertising division has no right to complain to the news division and attempt to censor the news if an advertiser is held under journalistic scrutiny. But today more and more the Parents are telling the Kids what they should or shouldn't say or who they should or shouldn't give air-time (ie: Roland Martin) because of outside pressure.

And that boys and girls is censorship of the Free Press.

This is nothing new, it goes back as far as CBS when Edward R. Murrow ran his expose' on Senator Joe McCarthy which drew so much angst for CBS Broadcasting owner William Paley that Paley insisted on giving those who Murrow might feature in a broadcast the opportunity to "have their say" and without consultation with Murrow in giving that opportunity.

This while it caused an irreparable spilt between Paley and Murrow ended up doing more good for journalism than it did harm. When Murrow had McCarthy on for a "rebuttal" interview regarding Murrow's story about McCarthy it harmed McCarthy even further than the original broadcast as far as public opinion was concerned.

For any news organization from the smallest weekly newspaper or local radio station to ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN and their many subgroups to kowtow to the pressure of outside groups and organizations is not only shameful but is akin to "governmental control" of the news media.

The First Amendment of The Constitution not only should apply to governmental control of the news media but to those who try to censor the news media when someone or a group is allowed to be featured in or on the news media which others disagree with their given position or overall stance on subjects be they political or social.

It is then up to the Parents of news organizations to stand firm in their resolve to standby Freedom of the Press and not waiver in what the broad sense of the Amendment means.

Censorship of any kind is a slippery slope which is hard to turn back from.
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