Re: Move on?

From: Ben Kirshner (
Date: Wed Jan 28 2004 - 18:04:17 PST

Re: Jay's post, I called Viacom yesterday (CBS corporate owner) at the
number provided by Move On. Before I could finish my sentence, the
employee on the other side told me to call CBS directly, because Viacom was
getting too many calls. The CBS number has been busy every time I've tried

Small action, unclear result, but somehow satisfying.


At 08:54 PM 1/28/2004 -0500, you wrote:

>I'm sending this without having yet caught up with recent xmca posts, so
>forgive me if this has already been mentioned.
>Friends have been sending me information about the refusal of CBS to
>broadcast a paid political commercial (actually it counts as a
>public-service announcement under US rules) that was produced by a
>grass-roots (sort of) internet based organization and which criticizes,
>very briefly, Bush for running up a big deficit that the next generation
>will still be paying off when we're all retired. It's a cute little
>commercial featuring a fantasy of kids (the next generation) working in
>low-paying jobs, with the deficit as a punchline at the end.
>CBS says it's "too controversial" to broadcast. It was to be aired during
>the SuperBowl, when there was a maximum audience. CBS did run a White
>House backed "public service announcement" claiming that using drugs
>finances terrorism (presumably an uncontroversial claim in minds disposed
>to be uncritical) in this time slot.
>CBS was also recently the beneficiary of legislation supported by Bush
>that was tailored to its advantage (and probably not in the public interest).
>Two US senators and a couple dozen congressmen have complained to CBS.
>Evidently the chairman of the FCC has also raised some questions about the
>action and policy.
>We have long been worried about whether corporate control of the media,
>especially by corporations that are beholden to the government, would
>eventually start limiting democratic public debate and showing open
>political bias. When it happens something needs to be said, loudly, I
>think. (I am not claiming this is going to change things, but at least
>devils should be named rather than allowed to pass unindicted.)
>If interested, have a look at the website . It's an
>interesting organization more generally as an example of a
>political-action internet-based community.
>Jay Lemke
>University of Michigan
>School of Education
>610 East University
>Ann Arbor, MI 48104
>Tel. 734-763-9276

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