NBC: Shut Up And…Oh Just Shut Up

Following the recent announcement of censorship by CNN and NPR when they refused to air ads for the film, “Death of a President,” it seems the dawn is not yet here, because it’s still getting darker.

NBC has now refused to broadcast ads for the Dixie Chicks’ new movie, “Shut Up and Sing.” (See the ad here). This is the same NBC whose censors just finished editing Madonna’s TV special because they didn’t like the religious content. The distributor for the Chicks’ film, The Weinstein Co., says NBC told them that they…

“…cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.”

Harvey Weinstein said in response…

“It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American.”

Indeed, the idea that a national broadcast network would abuse its power by prohibiting the use of public airwaves to promote a legal product on the grounds that it is “disparaging” to the president, is un-American and unacceptable. Since when is the characterization of a president a factor in whether or not a product can be advertised? This policy would also prohibit ads for “Dump Bush” t-shirts or even ads for car dealerships if they employed a silly Bush impersonator.

NBC is owned, don’t forget, by General Electric, the largest defense contractor in the world, and one of the biggest beneficiaries of Bush’s war industry as well as his pro-corporate tax giveaways. They also have a stake in the FCC’s determinations regarding media ownership and consolidation.

The Dixie’s doc tells the story of how they were silenced because they they chose to exercise freedom of speech. Now NBC is silencing them again for much the same reason. Their decision not to air these ads raises the question as to whether they were pressured by Washington to road block the movie, or are acting on their own to prop up their benefactor in the White House. Either way, they are demonstrating that their loyalty is reserved for politicos at BushCo, at the expense of the Constitution, the American people, and free expression.

Write to express yourself (while you still can):
Bob Wright, GE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal
Jeff Zucker, Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal Television Group
Randy Falco, Pres and Chief Operating Officer, NBC Universal Television Group
Keith Turner, President/NBC Universal Sales and Marketing
Marianne Gambelli, Exec Vice President/NBC Universal Sales and Marketing
Victoria Morgan, Vice President – Advertising Standards/NBC Universal

Other NBC Network Entertainment Sales & Marketing Contacts
NBC Advertising Standards Guidelines – PDF (See page 11).