02 December 2004

An Open Letter to CBS and NBC

On Tuesday night, I read that CBS and NBC are both denying the United Church of Christ request to buy ad time on the public airwaves managed by the broadcast networks. According to a UCC press release published on Tuesday, the written response from CBS and NBC is the following:

"According to a written explanation from CBS, the United Church of Christ is being denied network access because its ad implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies -- and is, therefore, too 'controversial.' 'Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations,' reads an explanation from CBS, 'and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks.'

Apparently, NBC has rejected the spot for similar reasons."

It seems that God, Jesus, and the United Church of Christ all welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. But the CBS and NBC networks are more than willing to treat them as second-class citizens and also decide what theology is "appropriate" for the public airwaves. So much for the American traditions of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite that promote justice and fairness through their journalism. Rather than serving the cause of justice and fairness, both networks are willing to serve the needs of bigotry and intolerance.

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