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Corporate Political Censorship Runs Wild

Democratic Talk Radio - Democratic Voices Column

Corporate Political Censorship Runs Wild


May 8, 2004

It appears that the Corporate Media giants have decided to cripple the efforts of the most effective critics of Bush Republicanism going into the 2004 Presidential elections. This started becoming apparent when Move On.org was stopped from running relatively mild ads during the Super Bowl criticizing the Bush Administration for creating a huge national debt problem for our children to solve in the future. This was done by Viacom while the Bush Republicans did not face similar restrictions. The Bush Republicans have no problem running their highly negative ads.

The outdoor advertising division of Viacom has stopped the Missouri Democratic Party from placing billboards in that state which read, “The Republicans have a plan. You are not part of it!” These ads definitely comply with the published political advertising guidelines used by Viacom. Unfortunately, the Missouri Democratic Party made the mistake of designing ads that are effective in pointing out that the Bush Republicans are advancing an agenda that promotes only Big Business. Big Business is using their market power to hide this fact from the average voter.

This behavior seems to runs rampant among the Corporate Media giants. The Disney Corporation which controls a huge number of movie screens has instructed these theaters not to show Michael Moore’s new movie Fahrenheit 911 which is very critical of the Bush Administration. It has been reported that Disney may believe that showing this movie will threaten tax breaks given them by the Bush Republicans.

The Baltimore based Sinclair television broadcasting company instructed their ABC affiliates not to show the Nightline program which honored the war dead from the Iraq War by reading their names. The ratings on the program were huge despite the blackout in the markets controlled by Sinclair. Sinclair executives and major stockholders have given tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations to the Bush Republicans. They realize that the Iraq War has been totally botched by the Bush Administration despite the heroism of our soldiers. The cost in American lives would defeat Bush if the American voter truly becomes aware of it! This is the same reason the Bush Administration will not permit filming of the coffins of our fallen heroes returning home to grieving families. Sinclair is engaging in blatant censorship and misusing the public airwaves to advance their political bias.

The most shocking act of blatant political censorship has been on the Internet by Yahoo. Yahoo has canceled the email account and Yahoo discussion groups of Florida Democratic radio talk show host Andy Johnson. This was done without good reason or advance notice. The action keeps him from having access to all his emails or addresses. It cripples his radio show. All his contact information has essentially been seized by Yahoo! Andy Johnson was the victim of this action within days after these writers asked him to join in endorsing the Bush Impeachment effort of Democrats.com http://democrats.com/impeach . His Impeachment discussion groups were shutdown when Yahoo typically keeps them going even when the founders accounts are cancelled.

Democratic activists all over this nation are demanding and planning responses to Corporate Media political censorship. Measures from challenging broadcast licenses, to pushing for legal requires for equal time and fairness in broadcasting, to lawsuits, to consumer boycotts and even passing anti-monopoly laws that break the market power of these Corporate Media giants are actively being discussed. These writers will attempt to keep you informed of developments in future commentaries.

- Written By Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of DemocraticTalkRadio.com ).

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