November 05, 2003

Another Liberal Who Doesn't Get It

In opining about CBS's decision to shunt the hack job on President Reagan off to Showtime, Barbra Streisand demonstrates that she has no clue what censorship is:

"This is censorship, pure and simple. Well, maybe not all that pure. Censorship never is. Due to their experience with the restrictive English government, the framers of our constitution specifically included a ban on prior restraint in the First Amendment, which is an attempt to stop information from getting out there before the public has a chance to see it at all - exactly what is going on in this case."
It actually is pure and simple, but it's bottom-line business logic, not censorship. One more time for the clinically thick dimwits in Hollywood: UNLESS THE GOVERNMENT DOES IT, IT ISN'T CENSORSHIP! Babs actually recognizes this, after a fashion, but fails to connect it properly. Then she continues describing the color of the sky in her world:
"Of course, CBS as a company has the legal right to make decisions about what they do and do not air. However, these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity rather than an attempt to appease a small group of vocal dissidents."
Where do I begin on this one? Let's start with the 'don't appease the dissidents' line. I reserve the right to call 'bullshit' on Streisand the next time some broadcast company caves to a demand by ACT-UP, PETA, or some other extremist group with virtually no consistency, unless she stands up in defense of the company. Of course, she won't. Second, "these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity?" Has she ever actually watched television? I guarantee you that no broadcast network (except PBS, whose business model consists of welfare and begging) gives a rat's ass about 'artistic integrity' as long as the ratings are there and the advertisers keep writing the checks.

And that's where the bottom-line business logic comes in. CBS boss Les Moonves, a self-described liberal democrat, personally cancelled the plan for CBS to air the movie. Now ponder these two questions:

  • If Moonves had been pressured by the Government not to air the series, don't you think he'd say so? Bush Administration as scapegoat - what an opportunity! (In that case, it would be censorship.)
  • If he really thought the movie was unfair to Reagan, why air it anywhere? Why not spike it as a goodwill gesture to President Reagan and his family?
Answers: Censorship wasn't the issue, nor was there any real sense of fairness involved. Moonves semi-cancelled the movie because he thought CBS had a very real chance of losing money on it, either in the short term or the long term (or both).

Update: Steve_in_Corona pointed out that the left has already pressured stations not to air a show, and thus no more Dr. Laura. Sooooooo... Babs, I call BULLSHIT!

Posted by Chris at November 5, 2003 01:44 PM

Category: Media Stupidity