CBS, Propaganda and the Super Bowl
Anti-MJ Propaganda to be Shown while Pro-reform Ads Outlawed and MoveOn.org Protests Denied
This is for all you Super Bowl fans. CBS has refused to air MoveOn.org's political ad on Super Bowl Sunday...at the same time CBS will be airing the White House's anti-marijuana ads, along with other status quo garbage – at our expense.
We have to consider boycotting those groups and organizations with our viewing and dollars, that mold and manipulate us through their lies and disinformation campaigns. Here is the link to the article:
or see below for the text. And act today!
Take Action Now!
As we approach the end of January, Americans are gearing up for the upcoming Super Bowl. For those of us in the marijuana law reform community, this means preparing for another barrage of anti-marijuana propaganda ads from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
This year NORML is encouraging CBS to reject these ads by persuading the network to abide by it's stated policy of not running ads on "controversial issues of public importance." Recently, CBS cited this official policy to deny airing an advertisement sponsored by the advocacy organization MoveOn.org, which criticized President Bush's $1 trillion deficit.
If CBS is to be consistent, then they must also adhere to this policy when it comes to the ONDCP's ads. Marijuana decriminalization currently enjoys 72% support among the American public, according to the latest CNN/Time polling data. Clearly this is a "controversial issue of public importance" that divides American public opinion, and any public service announcement on the subject that promotes only one side of this issue must be considered an issue ad.
Clearly CBS only applies this standard to issue ads that they disagree with. For example, the network accepted a Super Bowl ad that discourages tobacco smoking and one from the American Legacy Foundation encouraging "lifestyle choices" for teenagers, in addition to the ONDCP anti-marijuana ads.
NORML has created a pre-written letter that you can send to CBS executives demanding they apply their policy consistently and reject the ONDCP/PDFA anti-marijuana ads. You also have the option of copying this letter to your local medica outlet so that we can keep the public appraised of this inconsistency on the part of CBS.
Please take two minutes to send a pre-written letter to CBS and your local media urging them to reject this year's anti-marijuana propaganda ads from the Super Bowl by visiting:
Thank you for your support on this important issue.
Smokers vote in 2004! If you have not already done so, register to vote or change your voter registration address at:
Relation to cannabis law reform, you may ask? This also happens at the same time that truthful ads about the benefits of medical cannabis - or even the harm of the drug war - have been made illegal. Yes, folks, here in America, telling the truth is now against the law.
Not satisfied with unlimited money and no burden of proof for their lies; not happy with only the media afraid, greedy, hateful or otherwise under their control; not content with the vast amounts of funds activists had to raise the drug warriors had to go for the full nazi and simply make what they don’t like - the truth, in this case - a crime.
The story … Congressional Censorship.
The Alliance is preparing to go to battle against the government. In December we warned you about a provision that will censor marijuana reform efforts. Rep. Ernest Istook, an Oklahoma Republican, snuck language into a federal spending bill that will effectively ban private advertising on buses, subways, or trains in support of marijuana law reform - including campaign ads in support of medical marijuana ballot measures. Worse still, the same bill also spends $145 million in taxpayer money on anti-marijuana government propaganda. This federal spending bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives late last year, and the U.S. Senate will most likely vote on it next week.
If you haven't <http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=31099&l=14757>faxed your Senators yet, please do so today. While there is only a small chance that we can stop this bill from passing (the reason why drug war extremists snuck this censorship provision into it), we need to show Congress that voters are outraged. This will give the Alliance leverage to work on removing the censorship provisions from the spending bills when they are voted on again at the end of the year. We need to show that we have your support and the support of the American people.
In addition to this legislative strategy that can repeal the ban if it passes, the Drug Policy Alliance is preparing to sue the federal government to have the ban overturned in court. We will keep you updated as our plans develop - we will definitely need your help!
ACTIONS TO TAKE
1) <http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=31099&l=14757>Fax your
Senators and tell them to protect free speech. You can fax them for free
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 12:35:12 +0000
Subject: U.S. Newspapers Silent on Cheney Investigation
Dear American Citizen,
If you're only watching the American media, there's a story you haven't heard a thing about, but not because it's inconsequential to Americans: International news sources have reported that Vice President Dick Cheney could come under criminal investigation for his role in a massive bribery scandal while he was head of Halliburton.
The story has been discussed in French, British, and Austrialian papers for at least three weeks. On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News became the first major U.S. newspaper to cover the story -- with a front page article, no less. Yet the other 11 of America's 12 highest-circulation daily papers haven't covered Cheney's inclusion in the investigation at all.
Please write a brief letter to the editor of one of the newspapers listed below, and let them know that they're failing the American public by ignoring this news.
MORE INFO: The investigation involves allegations that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown Root and a French company together paid $180 million in illegal commissions to government officials during the construction of a natural gas complex in Nigeria.
This comes after Halliburton's admission in May that, under Cheney's leadership, the oil-field services company "paid a Nigerian tax official $2.4 million in bribes to get favorable tax treatment," according to the Associated Press. An investigation on the matter by the Securities and Exchange Commission continues. Halliburton has also come under fire for inflating gasoline prices in Iraq and receiving noncompetitive contracts to rebuild Iraqi oil facilities.
Initiated by French law enforcement authorities, the case would be prosecuted under an international treaty making bribery of foreign public officials a criminal offense. The treaty has been signed by the United States, France, and over 30 other countries.
For more information about this investigation, read the international news articles assembled by the Center for American Progress in its daily Progress Report:
This isn't about supporting or opposing Vice President Cheney. Whether or not Cheney is ever tried on criminal charges of misusing corporate assets, the American media should be keeping the public informed about significant legal investigations involving elected leaders. Journalistic principles demand the free press serve as a monitor of those in power.
ACTION: Write to one of the country's leading daily newspapers to ask why they aren't covering this investigation:
The New York Times:email@example.com
Writing a letter to the editor could take 20 minutes or less. Here are our standard tips for expediting the process:
Your own words, written from the heart, are always best. Brevity is the soul of wit.
Be sure to include your name and address, and especially your phone number when submitting your letter. Editors need to call you toverify authorship before they can print your letter. They won't print your phone number.
REPORT YOUR LETTERS: After you write, please let us know what you said at:
Your action will be registered on your Media Corps dashboard page:
--Noah T. Winer
"In the big lie, there is always a certain force of credibility. The broad masses of a nation are always more deeply corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily. Thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more readily fall victim to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in small matters, but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods."
- Adolf Hitler, from Mein Kampf ('My Struggle')
"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie -- and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State."
- Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister
- The "Not See" media of Amerika
More On MoveOn …
Subject:[IPJC] CBS Cuts MoveOn, Allows White House Ads During Super Bowl
CBS Cuts MoveOn, Allows White House Ads During Super Bowl
by Timothy Karr
Published by MediaChannel.Org
The nearly 100 million viewers expected to tune in to next month's Super Bowl on CBS will be served up ads that include everything from beer and bikinis to credit cards and erectile dysfunction.
They will also see two spots from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. What's missing from America's premiere marketing spectacle will be an anti-Bush ad put forth by upstart advocacy groupMoveOn.org. The group had hoped to buy airtime to run "Child's Pay", a30-second ad that criticizes the Bush administration's run-up of the federal deficit.
CBS on Thursday rejected a request from MoveOn to air the 30-secondspot, saying "Child's Pay" violated the network's policy against accepting advocacy advertising, a company spokesperson told reporters.
At the same time, CBS is allowing ads placed on the docket by the White House's anti-drug office. For the third year in a row the White House has paid between $1.5 and $3 million each for 30-second spots during the broadcast. The 2004 ads, produced for the White House by Ogilvy & Mather are expected to convey a message similar to their previous Super Bowl spots. While CBS would not reveal the content of the upcoming ads, previous White House Super Bowl spots drew a controversial link between casual drug use and the financing of global terrorists.
Writing about the previous ads, LA Weekly media critic Judith Miller reported that their message plays well into Bush's anti-terror campaign because it keeps ordinary citizens under siege and the war on terror central in their minds -- an objective which in 2004 serves the president's re-election strategy well.
CBS does not consider the White House ads to cross the line of advocacy. "We are fallible human beings who do not have Solomon-like wisdom but try to make rational decisions based on the ads we receive," Martin Franks, executive vice president of CBS told MediaChannel. "Taking into account the deep pockets in play in this election we don't want to appear to favor one side over the other."
MoveOn is now working the "back channels" at CBS, either via local affiliates or through others within the network to get "Child's Pay" on during the Super Bowl this year, said Wes Boyd, MoveOn co-founder. Boyd claimed that the networks do place advocacy ads during the Super Bowl. Moveon.org worked with Washington's local ABC affiliate WJLA in2003 to air "daisy" -- an ad based on the famous Lyndon Johnson 1964campaign commercial -- which urged President Bush to let the UN Iraqi inspections work.
"It's not clear to me that the White House ad is a PSA as opposed to advocacy ad," Boyd said. "This is about CBS and where they draw the line. It's very arbitrary and capricious when certain ads are accepted while others are not. The networks don't reveal their guidelines leaving the public unaware of the process."
Franks would not comment when asked about previous White House Super Bowl ads that equated the war on drugs to the war on terror. These ads appeared in 2002 on the Fox network, which aired the NFL championship that year, and in 2003, on ABC.
Franks would not reveal the content of the White House ads planned for CBS' February 1 broadcast. As a matter of policy CBS does not comment on ad submissions in advance of broadcast, Franks said, adding that there is "a thorough vetting of every ad that appears on CBS. End of sentence."
MoveOn.org has run afoul of Viacom, CBS' parent company, in the past. In February 2003, the grass-roots advocacy group-solicited donations from its email members to raise $75,000 to place an anti-war ad on billboards in four major American markets. The group claims that they raised the amount from members in two hours. When they approached Viacom Outdoor -- a division of Viacom and the largest outdoor-advertising entity in North America -- the company refused to post the ads, according to MoveOn.
In March 2003 MTV, another Viacom-owned entity, refused to accept a commercial opposing war in Iraq, citing a similar policy against advocacy spots that it says protects the channel from having to run ads from any cash-rich interest group whose cause may be loathsome. "The decision was made years ago that we don't accept advocacy advertising because it really opens us up to accepting every point of view on every subject," Graham James, a spokesman at MTV told the New York Times. The youth-oriented music station regularly airs recruitment ads for the U.S. Army.
According to Adage.com, Super Bowl 2004 will also include product spots for AOL, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline, Daimler Chrysler, FedEx, FritoLay, GM, H&R Block, Monster WorldWide, the NFL, Pepsi Cola, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Sony Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Studios, Visa USA, and Warner Brothers.
A survey of 1,000 adults conducted last year by Eisner Communications found that 14 percent of those viewing the Super Bowl watch just for the ads.
-- Timothy Karr is Executive Director of MediaChannel and Director of Media For Democracy, MediaChannel's 2004 citizens' initiative to monitor media coverage of the presidential elections.
Journalists Not Loath to Donate To Politicians
Media Companies' Policies Vary Widely
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 18, 2004; Page A01
More than 100 journalists and executives at major media companies, from NBC's top executive to a Fox News anchor to reporters or editors for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, CBS and ABC, have made political contributions in recent years.
Some of these donations, detailed in Federal Election Commission records, violate the companies' own policies. But these policies vary widely; some media firms allow donations, others bar them for newsroom employees but not business staffers, and still others restrict only those covering politics.
NBC chief executive Robert Wright has contributed $8,000 since 1999, including $3,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and $1,000 to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Andrew Lack, a former NBC News chief, gave $1,000 to Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) while NBC president, and Wright contributed $1,500 -- after the House committee Tauzin chairs held hearings on the networks' election night failures. NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust said the network allows its executives to make contributions and that Wright "does not make any decisions specific to news coverage."
Fox anchor Neil Cavuto, the network's managing editor for business, gave $1,000 to a fundraising dinner for President Bush in 2002.
"I wish he hadn't," said Fox News Vice President John Moody, who responded by circulating a policy Friday that discourages such contributions. "I hope our people will follow the advice I've given to them voluntarily. The potential perception is that they favor one candidate over the other." But he said he wouldn't ban the practice.
A Fox producer for Oliver North, Griffin Jenkins, gave $2,000 to the Bush-Cheney reelection committee.
Melanie Kirkpatrick, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, donated $20,000 to the Republican National Committee and $1,000 to Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot said there are no prohibitions for those on the opinion side of the newspaper and that Kirkpatrick had obtained permission from his predecessor, the late Robert Bartley.
Asked about his staff making political donations now, Gigot said: "I'd advise against it."
Such donations raise difficult questions: Do employees of news organizations give up certain civic rights? Or, in an age when polls show growing public perceptions of media bias, should the appearance of siding with a candidate or party be avoided at all costs?
"A good rule of thumb," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, "is, if this were known publicly, would it cause the audience to have doubt about the credibility of this person's coverage?" That, he said, is often "a judgment call."
At the Post, business reporter Albert Crenshaw gave $500 to Maryland Democratic House candidate Ira Shapiro in 2001. Crenshaw said his wife made the donation before he told her that he could not participate in such contributions. Sportswriter Mark Asher gave $500 to Illinois Democratic House candidate Pete Dagher in 2002. He said his wife had worked with Dagher in the Clinton White House.
Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. said he would discuss the matter with the reporters' editors. "You can't make political contributions at all," he said, citing the paper's policy.
For this story, the Post reviewed federal election records for the last five years in which donors identified themselves as working for one of 12 prominent news organizations. While no one who directly covers campaigns was listed in the records, some donors report on political issues occasionally or indirectly, or have in the past.
At ABC, "20/20" correspondent Jami Floyd, who covered the Florida recount in the last presidential election, gave $500 to the Democratic National Committee in 2000. Clark Bentson, a producer now heading for Baghdad, gave $250 to New Jersey Democratic House candidate Tim Carden. But ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said all donations are barred "to maintain our professional reputation for fairness and impartiality." He said that "we've already communicated" with those who donated "and everyone in the division understands the importance of rules like this."
Troy Roberts, a correspondent for CBS's "48 Hours" who once did a feature on the daughters of Bush and Al Gore, donated $1,000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign, as did Emily Senay, medical correspondent of CBS's "Early Show." CBS News does not restrict contributions. "There is a vast system of checks and balances before anything gets on the air," said spokeswoman Sandy Genelius.
At NBC, then-producer Ann Kemp gave $1,000 to Bill Bradley's presidential campaign in 1999. Spokeswoman Gollust says editorial employees can make donations only with advance approval, but could not say whether Kemp had received that approval. Gollust said Maria Shriver of "Dateline" was given permission to donate $2,000 to her brother, House candidate Mark Shriver. When William Bolster was CNBC president in 1999, he donated $1,000 to McCain's campaign.
Paul Begala, a former Clinton White House aide who co-hosts CNN's "Crossfire," donated $2,000 to Democratic congressional candidates. CNN reporter Mike Boettcher gave $1,000 to his brother's Democratic Senate campaign.
Spokesman Matthew Furman said editorial staffers are barred from making donations, while others are "strongly discouraged." He said Begala is exempt as a part-time contributor and that Boettcher was given a waiver.
Newspapers are well represented in the FEC records. At USA Today, Richard Willing, who covers terrorism, legal issues and the Supreme Court, has given $500 to Howard Dean's presidential campaign. Willing has written about court cases involving Vice President's Cheney's energy task force and the administration's policy of holding detainees in a military prison in Cuba.
"Howard is one of my oldest and dearest friends," said Willing, who said his editors know that he met Dean in college and has contributed to his state races in Vermont. Asked if the presidential donation could raise questions about his coverage, Willing said: "I wouldn't have done it if I thought it did."
USA Today consumer reporter Jayne O'Donnell gave Dean $250 and food writer Jerry Shriver donated $1,000 to John Kerry's presidential effort. While parent company Gannett allows political donations, "clearly if a reporter was covering a campaign it would be unacceptable," said spokesman Steve Anderson.
Christopher Schroeder, a Washington Post Co. vice president who stepped down in January as chief executive of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, gave $1,000 to Bush's presidential campaign in 1999, before being promoted to run the online operation. He said he stopped donating after accepting that post.
"You'll not find anyone who's a firmer believer and supporter of the church-and-state separation than I am," Schroeder said.
The New York Times banned donations by newsroom employees last year because of "a great risk of feeding a false impression that the paper is taking sides," said spokeswoman Catherine Mathis. Before the ban took effect, magazine staff writer Barry Bearak gave $250 to a Green Party Senate candidate and travel writer Betsy Wade gave $383 to a Democratic House candidate. Business reporter Karen Arenson said her husband's $1,000 donation to Hillary Clinton was mistakenly reported in her name. Music critic John Rockwell, a former arts editor, gave $2,000 to Clinton in 2000.
Rockwell, noting that he doesn't cover politics, said he was unaware of the rules change when he gave Dean $250 about nine months ago. "If there's a Times policy against any kind of contribution, I will observe it henceforth," he said.
Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walter Mossberg got a waiver to contribute $3,000 to Democrat Shapiro, "my best friend of 35 years," and reporter Laura Landro gave $1,000 to Bradley. Managing Editor Paul Steiger said there was "some screw-up" and that Landro's husband has assured him that he made the Bradley donation. The Journal's policy is that news staffers "should not be active in either big-time national causes or national partisan politics." Steiger said.
Los Angeles Times food writer Charles Perry, who has given the Republican Party $2,550, said, "I cover a non-political area." Janet Kaye, a part-time member of the paper's polling unit, gave $450 to Dean. On the corporate side, former Times Mirror general counsel William Niese put more than $10,000 in Republican Party coffers.
"It's a funny situation because we wouldn't prohibit someone from voting," said Deputy Managing Editor Leo Wolinsky, adding that the paper has not allowed donations by those involved in political coverage, but is drafting a new ethics code. He said political donations "can give the perception you're skewing coverage."
Newsweek has no restrictions on political giving, and Time bars only those involved in political coverage.
Time publishing reporter Andrea Sachs gave $1,000 to a Democratic House candidate. At Newsweek, then-Moscow bureau chief William Powell Jr. gave $1,000 to McCain, and then-publisher Carolyn Wall donated $1,000 to Bradley.
Many of the other media employees in the FEC records worked in business or technical jobs or are no longer employed by those outlets.
Howard Kurtz hosts CNN's weekly media program.