Yesterday, a United Church of Christ advertisement was rejected by TV networks that considered it "too controversial." The problem isn't that the ad and its inclusive message that "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we" is somehow inappropriate or unsavory, it's that civil equality for same-sex couples is contrary to the Bush agenda. Media Matters covered this story earlier today, as did Paul Waldman in his article "CBS and NBC Censor Tolerance:"
CBS says it "touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations," and it is "unacceptable" because "the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman." In other words, ads that contradict President Bush, even in the most round-about way, will not be aired on CBS. For its part, NBC says they're refusing to air it because it's "too controversial."
In their press release ("CBS, NBC refuse to air church's television advertisement," the UCC's general minister and president Rev. John H. Thomas observes, "It's ironic that after a political season awash in commercials based on fear and deception by both parties seen on all the major networks, an ad with a message of welcome and inclusion would be deemed too controversial," and asks, "What's going on here?"
The answer, unfortunately, is obvious: media outlets are more obsequious than ever to those in power, especially with continuing control of all three branches of government in one party's hands. The downside of public airwaves being private property is that they are then used strictly for their owners' benefit. One group (the administration and its media lackeys) wins by having the inherent hypocrisy of their "morality" remain unexposed...and the rest of us lose. We lose when voices of reason disappear from the airwaves, we lose when the range of "acceptable" opinion is shifted further to the right, and we lose as our gay friends' and family members' marriages are still unrecognized by law.
What will we lose next?
Thanks for reading.
Quote of the Day:
"We find it disturbing that the networks in question seem to have no problem exploiting gay persons through mindless comedies or titillating dramas, but when it comes to a church's loving welcome of committed gay couples, that's where they draw the line."
Rev. Robert Chase (director of the UCC's communication ministry)