Monday, November 10, 2003

CBS and the Deification of Reagan aka Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say

I'm not sure whether to be ashamed, angry or perturbed. I never was big on censorship, although I am big fan of what Ice-T has to say on the issue.

It always boggled my mind, though, that each side of politics could condone censorship when it fit into their agenda. When I lived in Berkeley (pronounced Barkley, after the philosopher, thank you very much), it amazed me that the "liberals" on campus shut down a speech by Shimon Peres of Israel because they opposed the treatment of Palestinian terrorists in Israel. Forget that presenting both sides of an argument is what liberty and freedom is supposed to be about.

But, it's not the liberals that have a stronghold on fascism and squashing freedom of speech. Recently, CBS has come under a boycott to not air its movie on the Reagans. I will be the first to admit that I am not a Ronnie fan - he ignored the AIDS crisis, he vetoed fetal tissue research for Parkinson's and Alzheimers (irony, huh?), he called his wife Mommy (that's just mind-boggingly weird to me). But, I can see why conservatives do love him - he did lead the country in a time of great growth (second to Bill's era), he did defeat the Soviet Union by spending on defense, he did create a strong upper middle class.

So, this man in DC lead the boycott against CBS to drop the series. Of course, naturally, he's an Arizonan who worked for Jon Kyle (nice man, spoke at my high school) and Matt Salmon (never met him, so no comments).

Naturally, I'm sick to my stomach that CBS caved. Since I get Showtime, I'll be able to watch the movie, but probably will forget to since I rarely watch Showtime. Hey, HBO has the better shows.

I'm sick that Leslie Moonves caved like a house of cards to the conservative factions that support censorship when it benefits them.

But, from one comment in a Variety interview, Leslie Moonves has my utmost respect: the buck stops with me.

It's nice to see that while it might have been a total internal disaster, when it comes to the public, Mr. Leslie Moonves steps up to the plate and takes responsibility. He's the president of CBS, and the buck stops with him. I'll admit that when I started reading the interview, I wanted to never tune into CBS again - but his ownership for anything that happens at that station has earned Moonves a spot at the table for being an honourable man.


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