Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Networks Run From Tolerance (Chased by Money)

Upper Left has pointed us to the website of the United Church of Christ, which "seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation." They are so intent on getting this message of tolerance out (no pun intended, but it works, so why fix it?) that they're willing to spend big bucks on network TV just to tell you that. But...

CBS wrote them a little letter explaining that they would not air the UCC commercial: "Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations... 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." Similarly, a rejection by NBC declared the spot "too controversial." What this means to me, if you'll pardon the editorializing (oh right - that's why you're here, isn't it?), that certain "other individuals and organizations" (hint: they have money) would not like the UCC message and might make their concerns known to the networks - monetarily.

Upper Left comments:
Imagine how the social fabric of the so-called red states would be undermined if they found out that Jesus didn't teach hate. Next thing you know, they'd be voting blue.
The good news is that the ad has been accepted and will air on a number of networks, including ABC Family, AMC, BET, Discovery, Fox, Hallmark, History, Nick@Nite, TBS, TNT, Travel and TV Land, among others.

Last thing, and I know you'll like this - from the UCC press release: "The United Church of Christ's national offices... speak to, but not for, its nearly 6,000 congregations and 1.3 million members." I think they may have something. I won't be joining up (I am of the Hebrew persuasion), but I like what I'm seeing.

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