Monday, August 22, 2005

Freedom of Speech

I seem to be obsessed with this subject.

Free speach indeed.


KTVX Channel 4 won't air 60-second anti-war ad

By Tom Wharton
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

If President Bush wants to avoid peace activist Cindy Sheehan when he visits Salt Lake City on Monday, he might want to watch KTVX Channel 4 instead of Utah's other network stations.

That's because Utah's ABC affiliate is the only major network television station in Utah that refused to run a spot featuring a message from the mother whose son was killed in the Iraq War. She is demanding to meet with the president.

According to a press release issued by Gold Star Families, which is sponsoring the ad, the 60-second spot features Sheehan directly addressing the president, who will speak Monday at the Veterans of Foreign War Convention. The group has spent $15,000 on the ad that will air on CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates in Salt Lake City through Monday. But Channel 4, owned by Texas media giant Clear Channel Communications, refused to accept the spot.

Aaron Davis is president of Utah Chapter 118 of Veterans for Peace who helped arrange the advertising and is one of the organizers of a protest scheduled Monday at Pioneer Park.

"They said the ad did not fit their audience," he said. "That was their spin. [It] is basically 60 seconds of Cindy Sheehan asking the president, 'Why did you kill my son?' That is pretty much it. I have difficulty with five mega-operations owning all the media organizations in the country. . . . That tells me that big business and government are in bed together."

Davis said he thinks KTVX refused to carry the spot because it had business dealings with the Bush administration.
But KTVX general manager David D'Antuono said the decision was entirely local.

According to an e-mail released Saturday, D'Antuono said that after Channel 4 viewed the spot, "the management of KTVX felt that the controversial content could very well be offensive to our community in Utah, which has contributed more than its fair share of fighting soldiers and suffered significant loss of life in this Iraq War." "This is a local market decision made by the local management of KTVX-TV."

Transcript of Cindy Sheehan TV ad

"Mr. President, my name is Cindy Sheehan. On April 4, 2004, my son, Casey was killed in Iraq. He was only 24, and he died in his best friend's arms. Casey was so good and so honest. Why can't you be honest with us? You were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction. You were wrong about the link between Iraq and al-Qaida. You lied to us, and because of your lies, my son died. You said he died for a noble cause. What cause? Mr. President, I want to tell you face to face how much this hurts. I love my country. But how many more of our loved ones need to die in this senseless war? How many more soldiers have to die before we say enough? I know you can't bring Casey back. But it's time to admit mistakes and bring our troops home now."
Paid for by Gold Star Families for Peace


At 8:44 AM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

Thanks is so necessary to keep the drums beating. This is not the first time Clear Channel has behaved in this fashion.

Long may the truth of what Mrs. Sheehan says WAVE!


At 10:16 AM, Blogger annie said...

i heard about this. wow. clear channel bites! they bought bil graham presents a few years back, and concerts in the san francisco bay area have never been the same.
censorship...grrrrr. cindy will not back down.


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