Superbowl Censorship
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Thread: Superbowl Censorship

  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Superbowl Censorship

    Check out the link below to see the commercial MoveOn.org wanted to air during the Superbowl. CBS rejected it as "too controversial" .

    http://www.moveon.org/cbs/ad/

    <EDIT>
    Removed my editorial opinion and inflammatory remarks
    </EDIT>

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    But it's paid advertising. That would mean that CBS has the right to refuse what they want. Wouldn't it?
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  3. #3
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Honestly- I don't know. Perhaps another AO member can shed more light on that. I am sure they have some leeway in what they choose to air, but being a network I think they also have an obligation to at least give the impression of representing both sides of an issue. Maybe not. In the end, if their other sponsors pull out or enough people boycott the Superbowl because of their censorship it will change their outlook. The bottom line is what counts and if this decision affects their bottom line they will change it.

    Individuals complaining or threatening not to watch will have little to no effect. I plan to also contact the other major sponsors. If THEY feel like viewers are going to boycott or take issue with the censorship themselves they will pull their ads and that will be much more likely to get CBS to cave.

    In the end, their censorship will probably get this ad way more publicity and make it way more controversial than it ever would have been had they simply aired it. They probably did the anti-Bush campaign a favor by making a "martyr" of the ad.

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    You would think that CBS would have the right to pick and choose what they air, but people should see both sides of an issue. Most, though, have already formed an opinion of Bush and a TV ad is not likely to change it. People who disagree with the presidents politics will find plenty of anti-Bush sites and shows and whatnot if they look, and vice versa. If you're hoping to sway those who don't have a pre-set opinion, there are plenty of other places on TV for them to get the necessary information (propaganda ).

    However, if it turns out that they don't have that right, it would explain the CNN commercials I've seen on Fox News!

  5. #5
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    If people are to see both sides of the issue, then the advertising mudslinging that goes on, especially in US Political ads, should be banned as they are not accurate. CBS and other TV stations are merely the medium to transmit the paid message. The same could be said for PETA, who were also denied the right to televise during the SuperBowl. What if the Taliban wanted to put up an ad saying how America invaded Iraq? What would you think then? Or if the KKK decided to put up an ad calling for all White Americans to join in the Aryan fight and to kill all the "niggers" they see? Would you object if CBS pulled that ad? If advertising is supposed to be "unbiased" and balanced then Coke and Pepsi should do ads together as should Burger King and MacDonalds.

    These aren't news reports -- where it's supposed to be unbiased. This is an advertisement. Advertising is one-side.
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  6. #6
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Very good points MsMittens. You are correct that I would not approve of a KKK ad or object to it being pulled. I actually wouldn't mind seeing the Taliban ad though- just to hear the other side of that story

    I think that it walks a fine line though when it comes to political advertising. Sadly, most Americans are an instant-gratification, 30-second attention span sort of people. He with the most television ads wins. Half of the registered voters don't vote. The half that does vote either votes party line or for the one with the most advertising without any real understanding of the issues, how the candidate proposes to address the issues or what the candidates track record is on those issues or on actually following through with what they say. It leaves a very small percentage of informed voters- certainly not enough to sway an election.

    The Bush administration actively helped to move a bill through that will enable CBS and Fox to grow larger. To turn around and "ban" anti-Bush ads because they are "too controversial" looks an awful lot like "you scratched our back now we'll scratch yours".

    Whether or not Coke and Pepsi or Burger King and McDonald's get equal time doesn't affect the country. Having the incumbent regime control the media does.

    Like I said though- I think they are just making a martyr. Word will spread. The ad on the web will get viewed a thousand times more than the 30 second Superbowl spot would have. MoveOn.org can take their $2.3 million it would have cost to run the commercial and instead run it on other channels during primetime 10 or 15 times instead of blowing the whole wad on one 30-second commercial. They are simply helping to highlight just how much the media is in collusion with the Bush administration and how they can't be trusted to represent an unbiased opinion of the election, nevermind the day to day workings of government. Hopefully more and more people will pick up on that.

  7. #7
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Whether or not Coke and Pepsi or Burger King and McDonald's get equal time doesn't affect the country.
    Really? Perhaps a better comparison would have been Burger King versus Jenny Craig. It's interesting that ads that convince people they are "better" when drinking a product and has resulted in society being obese don't offend you. You are specific about the anti-Bush ad from what I can tell and don't seem to object to the pulling of the PETA ad. If it was truly a question of Freedom of Speech you would defend ALL potentially offensive and one-sided ads rather than a select few.

    In addition, politically speaking (and from some years in political campaigns), it is, IMHO, stupid to put a political ad up when the viewers, largely male, want to see the T&A show (**** and Ass), the Play of the Day and yell at the "bleeping bleeping blooping bleeping" blind ref for missing the obvious "bleeping bleeping" foul.

    What stops them from running these ads on the local stations rather than through the main channel? What about during the sports highlight reels in the evening news when you get more than the Joe Schmoe?

    I'm sorry but I have a hard time buying that this is a Free Speech issue. Certainly I dislike Bush and a lot of what he did but that doesn't make it right to cry wolf when nothing is there.

    MoveOn.org can take their $2.3 million it would have cost to run the commercial and instead run it on other channels during primetime 10 or 15 times instead of blowing the whole wad on one 30-second commercial.
    That isn't free speech. That's consumerism.
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  8. #8
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    Noam Chomski
    As long as people are marginalized and distracted [they] have no way to organize or articulate their sentiments, or even know that others have these sentiments. People assume that they are the only people with a crazy idea in their heads. They never hear it from anywhere else. Nobody's supposed to think that. ... Since there's no way to get together with other people who share or reinforce that view and help you articulate it, you feel like an oddity, an oddball. So you just stay on the side and you don't pay any attention to what's going on. You look at something else, like the Superbowl.

  9. #9
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    FWIW I do object to them denying the PETA ad as well.

    I think that my idea of bringing pressure on the other sponsors would probably fail because its sort of the opposite that is probably already occurring. In a nutshell, CBS may or may not care about the anti-Bush or PETA ad per se, but their other paying sponsors probably do and so to avoid offending the companies spending $50 million to advertise during the Superbowl they choose to reject the ones spending $2.3 million.

    I agree completely that the Superbowl is not the best forum for the ad and that MoveOn.org will probably get more bang for the buck spending their $2.3 million to run the ad on multiple channels / multiple nights for broader viewership. Advertising during the Superbowl has a sort of testosterone-inducing affect that sways the ability to judge whether or not its "good" marketing. Its so "elite" that companies just like to say that they did it.

    Perhaps not a "free speech" issue in the Constitutional sense. But, I resent the ability of the current administration to "wag the dog". In an environment where so many people make up their minds based on what they see on TV or read in the newspaper it gives an unfair advantage to the incumbent party- Republican, Democrat or otherwise (as if that will happen in my lifetime). Regardless of the events occurring throughout the world the incumbent party can re-write headlines and redirect focus with a simple photo op or press conference.

    I am sure this has all gone on to some degree and in various ways from the dawn of politics. All that has changed are the methods and mediums. In the end, I am fairly confident that the country will endure and that more of the same will go on in future elections regardless of the incumbent party. That doesn't make it right or any less frustrating though.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Let me get this in perspective. You want to force a private company to air a political motivated add? And you say the opposite is a violation of free speech? That they don't have the right to decide on their own what to air? And you supported the notion that the add becomes illegal if the super bowl happened to be 6 months prior to an election. That a super bowl, an entertainment medium should become the showcase for highly hyped highly biased political ads that border on comical? And you are going to contact major corporations and form a boycott because a web site basically run by the Clintons can't pay millions of dollars to air a commercial the NFL producers DO NOT want and force your will upon the masses as a minority voice. That you Tony, advocate propaganda on a large scale that scares school children all across the nation into thinking their futures are dark because Bush is in office. I thought TAS was bad but now here in the states we have groups that want to force media upon us but only when it fits their own personal agenda, anyone else is part of the syndicate burned into your brain.

    Its the friggin super bowl, it's football chill out you have all summer to bash Bushy, well until close to the election, because the people who think like you made free speech illegal and applauded it, while never contemplating the counterpoint that not everyone who wants a voice is part of a multinational syndicate, perhaps they could be members of moveon.org or AO who pool money together. Too bad, their voice is now silent for a period of time every four years.

    Perhaps I could air a commercial of liberals in California talking, who have nice houses in the suburbs and don't want a light rail system of mass transportation because it will bring in the homeless from the cities, while they publicly cry about how republicans arenít doing enough for the poor people and speak about evil of cars and the devilish S U V. Then when CBS chooses not to air it, I'll sue them and overstep their rights with my own and walk on them and then sue McDonalds because my 3 a day Big Mac habit made me fat and I donít look good in the commercial, and itís their fault for oppressing me and forcing me to eat their food through mind controlling commercials. Who's with me on boycotting the super bowl because McDonalds most likely will air a commercial that entices us? Their syndicate is ruining America and probably has ties to Bush.

    Where does moveon.org get million upon million to air a commercial? Are they part of the corporate syndicate coming at our flanks to socialize the masses into a government dependent socialized hypnotized culture????? Where media is nothing but doom and gloom and no optimism exists anywhere?

    What sparks this great desire to air a political commercial during a national entertainment event and why the great dissention when the company says it would prefer other ads that are probably waiting in line?

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