Conservative Criticism Is A Threat Of State Censorship By Default?
There are some ideas that are so ridiculous that only an eggheaded, liberal college professor could come up them. One of those ideas is that the “state” censored “The Reagans” miniseries. Now obviously, that isn’t what happened at all. There were no threats towards CBS whatsoever from any government officials over “The Reagans”. Yet, Edward Wasserman, a Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University writes the following in an op/ed…
“If it happened in a dictatorship, we’d see it clearly. A supposedly independent TV network makes a movie about a former leader whom the current rulers extol as their inspiration.
It’s full of fabrications, just like all such movies. But here the ruling party deems some unacceptable. There are denunciations and threats. The network revises the movie, yanks it off a widely viewed channel and relegates it to one that reaches only a tiny fraction of the population. In our country, the state can’t silence the media. But of course it just did.”
Of course, most people are probably scratching their heads trying to figure out what the heck Wasserman is talking about. Here’s his logic…
“…The instruments of suppression here — the Republican National Committee and a coven of political hacks and journalistic mouth-breathers allied with the party’s rightmost wing — are only a quarter-step removed from the White House and from the full might of the state.
They have clout not because they can gin up nasty e-mails. They were obeyed because of the withering regulatory scrutiny, antitrust hamstringing and legislative lunacy that the government could inflict on Viacom. Does anybody think that CBS would have caved if the GOP didn’t control two of three branches of government?
If this were Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, we wouldn’t quibble that the disapproval came not from the Interior Ministry but from the Ba’ath Party. We’d recognize it for what it was: official censorship.”
The irony here is so thick that you couldn’t ram through it with the left side of Wasserman’s pointy head. Not only was there absolutely no “withering regulatory scrutiny, antitrust hamstringing and legislative lunacy that the government could inflict on Viacom” being discussed or even implied that I know of, but if conservatives were so inclined to do that, they wouldn’t need the excuse of “The Reagans” miniseries as a reason. That’s because most of “the Republican National Committee and a coven of political hacks and journalistic mouth-breathers allied with the party’s rightmost wing” as Wasserman calls us, ALREADY know and understand that we’re not going to get a fair shake from CBS. It didn’t take a smear job of a miniseries to convince us of that.
So why did CBS pull “The Reagans”? It’s so simple that anyone should be able to understand it. CBS is in the business of making money and they didn’t want outrage a significant chunk of their viewers by running what would have been perceived as a vicious hit piece against a revered former President who can’t even defend himself because of his Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why the mini-series was yanked, not because of a “state” threat that only exists in Wasser’s mind….
Thanks to Kevin Holtsberry of A Nickel’s Worth Of Free Advice for finding this one.