Re: Fwd: It's About Free Speech

From: Tommy McCabe (
Date: Wed Jan 28 2004 - 04:51:33 MST

That's all very nice, but I don't believe all of us
are MoveOn members, and the last time I checked, this
is the SL4 mailing list, not the free speech advocacy
mailing list. How is this relevant to the Singularity
any more than the World Series is?

--- wrote:

> ATTACHMENT part 2 message/rfc822
> Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 09:31:42 -0800
> From: "Eli Pariser,"
> <>
> To: "Tom Buckner" <>
> Subject: It's About Free Speech
> Dear MoveOn member,
> Over the last four days, something incredible has
> happened. CBS has received over 340,000 emails and
> phone calls asking it to stop its censorship.
> Clearly a huge number of us believe that CBS's
> refusal to run our Voter Fund ad, while allowing the
> Bush White House to run an advocacy ad of its own,
> is just plain wrong.
> Columnists and editorial pages are writing about it.
> And on Monday, FCC commissioner Michael Copps
> issued a statement on it. These folks understand
> that this issue isn't just about our Voter Fund's ad
> -- an ad by People for the Ethical Treatment of
> Animals was censored as well. At heart, it's about
> free speech. Huge companies like CBS that control
> access to the publicly owned airwaves have to air
> opposing points of view.
> CBS still refuses to run "Child's Pay." But
> together, we can increase the pressure on CBS. And
> through the power of the Internet, we can make sure
> that millions of people see the ad and learn about
> the controversy. As a first step, forward this
> email or the original message attached below to your
> friends. Ask them to check out the ad at:
> They can also send an email to CBS and join the
> campaign at that address. If you haven't joined the
> campaign yet, you can sign the petition there as
> well.
> Next, consider taking a moment to call CBS and let
> them know why you believe their refusal to run ads
> like this one is wrong. If you call, please be calm
> and polite -- it's not the folks who answer the
> phones' fault that CBS made this decision. You can
> reach them at:
> CBS Comment Line
> (212) 975-3247
> (We're spreading out the calls across a number of
> relevant CBS numbers, so hopefully you won't get a
> busy signal.)
> After you've called, help us track the number of
> calls that are pouring in by going to:
> If you have a website or blog of your own, you can
> also help by placing a banner ad or button on the
> site. This'll help push the ad to a whole new level
> of prominence. Click on the link below to get
> images and the code to put on your site:
> Finally, you can contribute to the conversation in
> the nation's editorial pages by writing a letter to
> the editor. Here are a few tips on writing an
> effective letter:
> - Brevity is the soul of wit.
> - The key to publication is to pounce on something
> specific you've seen in the newspaper -- such as a
> story on Super Bowl advertising.
> - Be sure to include your name and address, and
> especially your phone number when submitting your
> letter. Editors need to call you to verify
> authorship before they can print your letter. They
> don't print your phone number.
> - Your newspaper's letters page should give you an
> email address or fax number to use, or you can try
> this website:
> - Please let us know when you've sent your letter
> by going to:
> Here are a few talking points you can use in your
> letter:
> * It's about free speech. The First Amendment
> doesn't mean a whole lot if we're denied access to
> the airwaves. CBS has a constitutional obligation
> to air opposing points of view.
> * If the White House can run an ad, other groups
> should be allowed to also. CBS will be airing an ad
> sponsored by the White House on this year's Super
> Bowl. Previous ads in this series have implied that
> buying drugs funds terrorism -- a much more
> controversial claim than the one "Child's Pay"
> makes.
> * CBS just got a huge favor from the White House.
> Senator John McCain said that the bill was custom
> tailored to CBS and Fox, which have been lobbying
> heavily to be able to grow larger. MoveOn and other
> groups have lobbied against this bill. Now the
> White House is allowed to run an ad, and groups like
> MoveOn Voter Fund are not.
> * What's "controversial"? CBS claims that it has a
> policy against running "controversial" issue ads.
> But the only line in the whole ad is a fact:
> President Bush has created a $1 trillion deficit.
> In fact, according to numbers released by the
> non-partisan Congressional Budget Office yesterday,
> that number's low.
> As you know, this campaign is bigger than one ad.
> It's about free speech. We're putting the country's
> media on notice that we're not going to take
> censorship lying down.
> Sincerely,
> --Adam, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Laura, Noah,
> Peter, Wes, and Zack
> The Team
> January 27th, 2003
> P.S. Some of you have written in to tell us that
> local CBS affiliates are willing to run the ad.
> It's true, and it points out CBS' hypocrisy: If the
> "policy" under which it rejected this ad made sense
> for the national organization, one would think it
> would apply to the affiliates as well. Placing the
> ad nationally via affiliates would likely cost
> several times the $1.6 million to run it on the
> network. But even if in the end CBS still refuses
> to broadcast the ad nationwide, we'll make sure it
> gets on TV in a powerful way. Please stay tuned.
> P.P.S. Here's the original message:
> --------------------
> Dear friend of MoveOn,
> During this year's Super Bowl, you'll see ads
> sponsored by beer companies, tobacco companies, and
> the Bush White House.(1) But you won't see the
> winning ad in Voter Fund's Bush in 30
> Seconds ad contest. CBS refuses to air it.(2)
> Meanwhile, the White House is on the verge of
> signing into law a deal which Senator John McCain
> (R-AZ) says is custom-tailored for CBS and Fox,(3)
> allowing the two networks to grow much bigger. CBS
> lobbied hard for this rule change;
> members across the country lobbied against it; and
> now our ad has been rejected while the White House
> ad will be played. It looks an awful lot like CBS
> is playing politics with the right to free speech.
> Over the last year, you've been a part of our
> incredible campaign against media consolidation.
> CBS's censorship demonstrates why this issue is so
> important: a few big media companies can effectively
> stop political speech. If we can successfully
> highlight CBS's unfairness in the media, we'll be
> able to push forward our FCC campaign as well.
> To watch the ad that CBS won't air and sign our
> petition to CBS, go to:
> If you want to skip the ad and just sign the
> petition, go to:
> We'll deliver the petition by email directly to CBS
> headquarters.
> You also may want to let your local CBS affiliate
> know you're unhappy about this decision.We've
> attached a list of the CBS affiliates in your state
> at the bottom of this email.
> Remember, a polite, friendly call will be most
> effective -- just explain to them why you believe
> CBS' decision hurts our democracy.
> Of course, this is bigger than just the
> Voter Fund. People for the Ethical Treatment of
> Animals (PETA) submitted an ad that was also
> rejected.(4) But this isn't even a
> progressive-vs.-conservative issue. The airwaves
> are publicly owned, so we have a fundamental right
> to hear viewpoints from across the ideological
> spectrum. That's why we need to let CBS know that
> this practice of arbitrarily turning down ads that
> may be "controversial" -- especially if they're
> controversial simply because they take on the
> President -- just isn't right.
=== message truncated ===

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