Monday, December 06, 2004

So What Else Is News?

It's hard to know which reason given by the networks for refusing to air the United Church of Christ's TV ads is the most preposterous. The ads say there church will accept you even if
you're not white, even if you're gay or lesbian. They say it's what Jesus would do. NBC said no because "they don't do advocacy ads." Oh really? Those SUV ads don't advocate gas guzzling? Those fashion ads don't advocate eating disorders? Those luxury ads don't advocate going into hock up to your eye balls?
At least CBS had the . . . [spine] to admit what's really going on. They said the ad is unacceptable because "the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Wait a minute. The executive branch wants to privatize social security. Does that mean the AARP and labor unions can't buy airtime to protect their retirement? Dennis Hastert won't let intelligence reform come to a vote because he doesn't have a majority of Republicans with him. Does that mean the 9-11 families can't air ads calling him on his outrageous partisanship?
And for the matter, George Bush says Hollywood hates America. Doesn't that mean CBS can't air movie ads anymore? Dick Cheney says dissent emboldens the enemy. Doesn't that mean CBS has to pull the plug on 60 Minutes?
The networks are always yelling about how free TV is in jepordy. If this is freedom, I wonder what bondage looks like?
-- Marty Kaplin, So What Else Is News?

Those were Kaplin's opening remarks to his two hour show this past Saturday. So What Else Is News? airs Saturday afternoons on Air America Radio and repeats on Sunday.

That's just to give you a sense of him in case you haven't listened to the show yet. (If you don't live in an area with an AAR station, you can listen online at

Last Saturday, he also interviewed Bob Fitrakis on the Columbus, Ohio rally & the status of the recounts, Senator Barbara Boxer on the intelligence reform bill, West Virginia Governor-elect Joe Manchin, addressed the HBO movie about Peter Sellers with the film's director Stephen Hopkins, and much more.

To hear last Saturday's show (or any previous broadcast), check out the archives at

Bob Fitrakis is a reporter for the Columbus Free Press ( which is covering the Ohio voting issue.