Saturday, January 17, 2004

Wide World of Sports III

The cries of "censorship!" will shortly be raised. What in the wide world of sports?

Two ads that were intended to be placed on the Super Bowl broadcast have been rejected by CBS. One is PETA's. The other is's. Article.

CBS explained thusly,

"We do not accept advertising on one side or the other of controversial public issues, partly because we don't think the debate ought to be controlled by people with deep pockets," said Martin Franks, CBS executive vice president.

CBS also covers these issues in a balanced way with its news department, Franks said.

Although it is amusing to make it a money issue, which is what the left likes to make matters of political speech, if I were Mr. Franks, I would have explained it in a different way. I would have reminded these would-be advertisers that they are asking to use a resource that they do not own. CBS owns the resource that is their signal, therefore, they decide what goes across it. This assertion of property rights needs no further explanation.

But the jilted advertizers do whine.

Although founder Wes Boyd said he had no evidence the ad was rejected because it was anti-Bush, "I worry that it's about ideology," he said.

Worry not. America is a free country when its citizens and institutions can refuse to do something they do not want to do, which means, the ad should be rejected if CBS does not like the ideology.

But MoveOn blathers onward,

"It seems to be there's a capricious approach as to what ads are taken and which are not," Boyd said.

That's because it should be capricious. CBS owns the signal. They should be free to pick and choose as suits them.

Here's a way that perhaps Mr. Boyd could begin to understand. Let's all go to his house (assuming he owns it). Let's each hold a picket sign. One will be pro-Bush. One will be anti-Howard Dean. One will be anti-Bush. One will be pro-MoveOn. Who do you think will be asked to get the hell off his lawn, and which will be invited in for a cup of fair trade coffee?

Your guess will be correct, in every way. Or, perhaps we can approach Mr. Boyd with pop-up ads to be placed on Will he "deny us our right to free speech"? Will he take a capricious approach as to what ads are taken and which are not? Will it be based on ideology?

But, of course.

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