Tuesday, October 12

The Following Is An Unpaid Political Message

I saw this over at Absinthe Knits, and while she may have other outlets for her political rants, I am surrounded by like-minded lefties who are all bombarded with the same moveon.org emails I am, so here's my chance to spread the word. For me, the personal is political--they are talking about rolling back MY civil rights (as a lesbian who lives in Massachusetts, I will LOSE the right to marry if the current administration gets its way, though I am not sure that my partner of 12 years and I will use that right, I believe strongly that we should have it). So it's part of the package--friends don't let friends vote Republican.

Since I'm talking about politics, there's a rather urgent situation going on at the moment. The Sinclair Media Group, with arch-conservative owners, is forcing its ABC affiliates to air a highly partisan anti-Kerry movie (documentary is not really an accurate term) called Stolen Honor, right before the election. This is the same group that refused to air the Nightline where they aired the names and photos of all the fallen soldiers in Iraq, saying it would be "inflammatory" (yes, that's becuase it's TRUE, and since when is honoring and memorializing those who died in battle "inflammatory?"). Here is a story from AP about the current situtation.

I wrote the following email to Sinclair and my cable company, Comcast. I found the email for the media contact for my area through very nifty googling, if I do say so myself; the Comcast website makes it very difficult to find anything. If you're local, you can email Jennifer Khoury (Jennifer_Khoury (at) cable.comcast.com --I'll spare her from the spambots) at Comcast, like I did. Here is my email, do something like it yourself if you're so inclined:

If you are going to air Stolen Honor, please also air Fahrenheit 9/11. I don't pay my cable company to receive Republican propaganda. If you are going to show the extreme right-wing view of Kerry, let's also see a different perspective on Bush. I expect that Moore would make the film available for such a viewing, or if it is not available, I expect you could get the rights to show "There's Something About W" http://www.somethingaboutw.org/ or "Uncovered: The War on Iraq" http://www.truthuncovered.com/ . If you think Bush truly is the right choice, then equal time for the other side should not be something that scares your organization.

I request that Comcast, my cable company, whom I have cc:'d on this email, drop my local ABC affiliate, WGGB-40. There is an ABC affiliate in Hartford, CT, only 30 miles south, WTNH, that would do just fine in serving its viewers, not the wealthy and powerful who are trying to control what we see.

Cate, Florence, MA

I also emailed Michael Moore's website to ask him to make Fahrenheit 9/11 available to Sinclair to air as equal time.

Please write your own letter to Sinclair at comments@sbgi.net, and if your local station is owned by them (and therefore, you will be affected--find out here), please call and complain. They will tell you to contact Sinclair directly, but I think it's important that we let our local stations know that we, right here, in the community they purport to serve, are angry about this. When I spoke to the person at my station, she said she agreed with me personally, but that they had no control over Sinclair's decisions. They'll tell you to call 410-568-1780, but do call locally as well; we need to ring their phones off the hook.

Just one more thought. This is not an issue of free speech. I think it's fine to air this kind of film, even though I think it's terribly distorted. Check out the clip here to see how dishonest it is: they interview this bearded hippie who looks a LITTLE like Kerry, without making clear that it's NOT Kerry, but just a member of a group that they claim Kerry was linked to. I have no doubt that is intentional. What I think is wrong is the ONE-SIDED hijacking of public airwaves to air only one side of an issue. These are not cable stations like Sundance or MTV or pay-per-view; this is ABC, one of the core broadcast stations that reaches a mass audience. By unilaterally pre-empting the Nightline segment, they have already shown themselves to
be devoid of respect for journalism, but this is as much of an outrage. To learn more, and to follow the story through the blog, check out http://www.stopsinclair.org/ .

I'm mamacate, and I approved this message.

Edited to add that there must be something in the air. Other knitbloggers are talking politics today: Jenifer is blogging about politics, and she linked me to Creazativity who's doing some pretty sound thinking herself. Nice to know that I'm in good company!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for that post, mamacate! I just fired off an e-mail to my local stations. Rat bastards...


Jenifer said...

You go yourself, girl! I totally agree with you, loved what you commented back to me, and I really agree -- this is where my "radical" (but not really) feminism comes in -- it's the patriarchal society that we live in that says that women have to "act like men" (i.e., work, treat each other in macho [translate bitchy] ways in order to succeed], that everything associated with the feminine is to be denigrated, while the masculine is exalted, etc, etc. You know that I'm preaching to the choir here, but I agree so much that it's actually the women of this country that keep us living the way we do, because we don't support each other. Phallologocentrism = making the word of the phallus [i.e., male values] the core of how we live, and that's what women have bought into. How can these hypocritical people around be crying about frozen embryos, and not thinking twice about the around 30,000 Iraqis that have died since we invaded?? Sorry back at you for my own political rantings here, but you know what I mean. I am so anxious/ mad/ upset over the elections right now -- when are people going to wake up in this country? I read the same Sinclair deal today, and it's been making me mad All Day. Take care, and your Klaralund is really gorgeous!!

Jenifer, ranting at 5337 :)

Suzanne said...

hehehe...i love fark.com. (that's where the image came from...one of the photoshop contests, actually.)

ok. had to comment BEFORE i actually read your entry. should go back and do that.


Anonymous said...

Bless you for posting the link to Sinclair's e-mail! I read about this in the Washington Post this morning, and thought- why I should fire off a letter or an e-mail, but I did not readily find the address and let it drop (yes, unfortunately, lazy is my middle name and my last name is procrastinator) Thanks to you, e-mail sent (and I really just came to see your kompleted Klaralund.)

Anonymous said...

Hope you got a chance to watch the final debate where the President explained that the process of a Constitutional Ammendment would put the debate in the hands of the people of each state. . .so if Massuchuetts is so incline, well, it is a very thoughtful democratic process.
Also hope you and Jennifer and anyone else realizes that 30,000 Iraqis lives lost is terrible, but hardly compares to the deaths and torture under the previous dictator's regime.

Cate said...

I generally have a troll starvation policy (and if you post a snotty message anonymously, that counts as trolling in my book), but just in case someone sees this and thinks it might be true that the FMA leaves it up to the states to decide (the facts are exactly the opposite--wait a minute, is Karl Rove commenting on my blog???--the amendment is taking it away from the states to decide), I thought I would provide a few facts. It is well-known that trolls subsist only on rumor and innuendo, and, apparently, false presidential sound-bites, so I figure it's still troll starvation.

Anyway, here goes. According to the Cato Institute (no relation, LOL), whose stated mission is as follows:

The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Toward that goal, the Institute strives to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government.

Not exactly a bunch of commie pinkos, you'll agree, I'm sure?
This is what they have to say on the issue:
A person who opposes same-sex marriage on policy grounds can and should also oppose a constitutional amendment foreclosing it, on grounds of federalism, confidence that opponents will prevail without an amendment, or a belief that public policy issues should only rarely be determined at the constitutional level.

There are four main arguments against the Federal Marriage Amendment.

First, a constitutional amendment is unnecessary because federal and state laws, combined with the present state of the relevant constitutional doctrines, already make court-ordered nationwide same-sex marriage unlikely for the foreseeable future. An amendment banning same-sex marriage is a solution in search of a problem.

Second, a constitutional amendment defining marriage would be a radical intrusion on the nation’s founding commitment to federalism in an area traditionally reserved for state regulation, family law. There has been no showing that federalism has been unworkable in the area of family law.

Third, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage would be an unprecedented form of constitutional amendment, cutting short an ongoing national debate over what privileges and benefits, if any, ought to be conferred on same-sex couples, and preventing democratic processes from expanding individual rights.

Fourth, the amendment as proposed is constitutional overkill that reaches well beyond the stated concerns of its proponents, foreclosing not just courts but also state legislatures from recognizing same-sex marriages and perhaps other forms of legal support for same-sex relationships. Whatever one thinks of same-sex marriage as a matter of policy, no person who cares about our Constitution and public policy should support this unnecessary, radical, unprecedented, and overly broad departure from the nation’s traditions and history.

These items can be seen in the wild at http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/040923paper.html .

As for the current regime being better than the old one, I don't think anyone thinks Saddam was a good leader or a positive force. There are a lot of brutal dictators out there, many of whom we put in power and prop up (for past examples, consider Chile, Haiti, El Salvador). There are many places where humanitarian intervention would have been appropriate; Iraq would have been extremely low on the list. See this detailed article from Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k4/3.htm

Anyway, have a nice day. I'm not sure why you're interested in reading a knitblog of a *gasp* lesbian, if you don't think I deserve civil rights. I can't control whether you read it or not, but there are a lot of blogs out there, and maybe you'd like to read one from someone you consider to be a full human being. I do hope you'll spend some time with some information from sources other than Karl Rove. Could really help.

alice said...

miss cate, if i didnt already love and respect you before, i sure as shit do now! how come everyone else seems to be able to speak my mind so much more elegantly? :)