Sunday, May 07, 2017
Please Stop Making Me Cringe!
There is a tempest in a teacup brewing today over an ad outlining the President's accomplishments in his first 100 days, that the Trump team has tried, unsuccessfully, to place on pretty much all the major US networks.
It turns out that all of them - NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN - except for Fox, have refused to accept the ad.
Depending on who you rely upon to reinforce your bias, your outrage might be directed at either:
a) the networks for what the Trump team has called "an unprecedented act of censorship in America that should concern every freedom-loving citizen";
b) the Trump team for creating a 30 second spot that both verbally and visually labels the mainstream media as 'Fake News', and then expecting the media outlets to run said ad spot that openly insults them.
To be clear, we're talking about a paid ad... not a press conference or some other typical media event.
To put it in perspective, let's ask ourselves if the Trump Organization would be likely to accept a paid billboard ad to run on the side of one of their famous buildings if the ad openly insulted or lampooned President Trump? I thought not.
Here's the ad:
Okay, so for so good. Hopefully you can understand why the Trump team made it, as well as why it would be a silly thing for them to expect the people they are insulting to run it on their networks (even for money).
As I said, a tempest in a teacup... nothing to see here, move along.
Except that Trump's Daughter-In Law - Lara Trump - has now gone public with a really troubling quote:
"Apparently, the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views."
Okay, here's why anyone who stayed awake in a high school civics class should be cringing:
The First amendment to the US Constitution states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
I would like to draw the reader's attention to the first word: Congress.
If an individual, or a business or pretty much anyone else except for congress wants to censor you, shut you up or in any way deny you a soapbox from which to express your views, they can.
Seriously... if you walk into a business and decide to make a speech or hang up political or religious posters, they can throw you out (and tear down your posters). And for the record, if you come into my home and try to share views I find repugnant or insulting, I can likewise refuse to let you speak and show you the door. I probably won't... but I could!
So I would advise Lara Trump, and anyone else who thinks that the First Amendment grants them unimpeded rights to place and express their views anywhere they want... that they are mistaken.
That tricky First amendment only keeps Congress from passing laws that stifle our freedom of speech. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN... they are perfectly within their rights to refuse to run an ad that insults them.
Dust off your civics books, people. Sad!