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Thread: Freedom Of Speech & Government

  1. #1

    Freedom Of Speech & Government

    No link (cannot seem to find one on CNN or Fox, or any mention actually).

    The story (heard on the radio) is that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has apparently sent a letter of outrage to CNN in regards to Lou Dobbs, and what they claim is discrimination/attacks on the Hispanic Community. What they are referencing is Dobbs position and commentary on the issue of Illegal Immigration.

    Now, we talk all the time in here about Freedoms, and what we think is the Govt. taking ours away. If the report of this letter is true, and a group of Govt. representatives are really demanding sanctions against a member of our media for his commentary, does that not sound like a clear violation of our Freedoms, both of free speech and of a free media?

    Without a copy of the letter, to peruse it's specific demands and specific threats (if any), it is indeed hard to judge fully. But since my own two main online media sources (CNN.com abd FOXNew.com) apparently are not reporting on it as yet (if at all), I prefer to allow you to find it yourself rather than link bloggers or other biased sources.

    But if the report is true, what do you think about a subset of our Govt. reps demanding limitations or outright removal of a member of the media?

  2. #2
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2519119]No link (cannot seem to find one on CNN or Fox, or any mention actually).

    The story (heard on the radio) is that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has apparently sent a letter of outrage to CNN in regards to Lou Dobbs, and what they claim is discrimination/attacks on the Hispanic Community. What they are referencing is Dobbs position and commentary on the issue of Illegal Immigration.

    Now, we talk all the time in here about Freedoms, and what we think is the Govt. taking ours away. If the report of this letter is true, and a group of Govt. representatives are really demanding sanctions against a member of our media for his commentary, does that not sound like a clear violation of our Freedoms, both of free speech and of a free media?

    Without a copy of the letter, to peruse it's specific demands and specific threats (if any), it is indeed hard to judge fully. But since my own two main online media sources (CNN.com abd FOXNew.com) apparently are not reporting on it as yet (if at all), I prefer to allow you to find it yourself rather than link bloggers or other biased sources.

    But if the report is true, what do you think about a subset of our Govt. reps demanding limitations or outright removal of a member of the media?[/QUOTE]

    If they demanded his firing and implied any threat against CNN in the event they didn't get it, that would be highly inappropriate and possibly illegal.

    If they merely voiced protest over his coverage, that's entirely appropriate.

    It's impossible to judge the letter without knowing what it said.

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2519139]It's impossible to judge the letter without knowing what it said.[/QUOTE]

    I agree, which is why it's annoying that CNN and FOX seem to be sitting on it, i.e. not doing their job reporting the news.:(

    Well, best I have is from The Guardian, a UK Source:

    [QUOTE]Hispanic congressmen demand corporate action against CNN host

    The anti-immigration views of CNN host Lou Dobbs have made him a darling in the ratings but a nemesis among US Latinos, whose frustration has risen to the Washington corridors of power.

    After their requests for a meeting with the chief executive of CNN's parent company were rebuffed, Latino members of Congress condemned the TV network for failing to recognise the "potentially dangerous" consequences of Dobbs's "divisive commentary".

    Dobbs has become a sensation thanks to his populist outbursts against undocumented immigrants, whom he calls "aliens" and accuses of "invading" America to steal jobs.

    The TV host also has targeted the Democratic presidential candidates, naming one segment "Hillary's hypocrisy" and describing Barack Obama's endorsement by Latino governor and former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson as "pandering to ethnocentric special interests".

    Joe Baca, the chairman of the congressional Hispanic caucus, told the Guardian that CNN's parent company should be held accountable for the content of programmes the network airs.

    "Words matter and words have power. One-sided rhetoric can lead other programs to cite opinions as fact and adopt polarising word choices as the standard," Baca, whose caucus is influential within the Democratic party, said.

    Baca and Latino senator Robert Menendez, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, said they were "deeply offended" by the lack of response from Time Warner, which owns CNN, to their criticism of Dobbs.

    "It is additionally offensive that you [failed to respond] on a topic as important and sensitive as your company's treatment and portrayal of Latinos in this country," the two members of Congress wrote to Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes last week.

    Despite its political clout, the Hispanic caucus is unlikely to succeed in reining in the popular Dobbs. The president of CNN offered Baca and Menendez a meeting but noted that Time Warner "never interferes with the editorial decision-making of its news operations".

    Earlier this month, Dobbs's televised criticism of Pope Benedict XVI for urging the US to adopt a compassionate immigration policy - which the host dubbed "bad manners" - sparked the ire of Catholic groups on both the left and right but brought no ramifications.

    La Raza, a grassroots Latino group, also launched a campaign earlier this year called We Can Stop the Hate, attempting to curb anti-immigration TV hosts' misinformation and aggression.

    However, the Hispanic caucus has a record of successfully pressing for greater deference to their concerns in the media. Filmmaker Ken Burns agreed to add recognition of Latino soldiers to his World War II documentary, The War, after meeting with Hispanic members of Congress last year.[/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2519149]I agree, which is why it's annoying that CNN and FOX seem to be sitting on it, i.e. not doing their job reporting the news.:(

    Well, best I have is from The Guardian, a UK Source:[/QUOTE]

    Based on that story, at least, I don't have a problem with it.

    They're entitled to complain and to raise issues with CNN, and to use their public platform to do it. They do not appear to be threatening the network --or any of its sponsors-- with any Congressional repercussions should they not get their way.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2519224]Based on that story, at least, I don't have a problem with it.

    They're entitled to complain and to raise issues with CNN, and to use their public platform to do it. They do not appear to be threatening the network --or any of its sponsors-- with any Congressional repercussions should they not get their way.[/QUOTE]

    When a group of Senators writes your media company a letter on Congressional letterhead, and proceeds to claim your company is racist and that you "should be held accountable for the content of programmes the network airs", you don't think there is an implied threat there?

    Does our Government have a place threatening, or ven simply calling out, our media for the specific content of their commentary on today's most vital issues?

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2519233]When a group of Senators writes your media company a letter on Congressional letterhead, and proceeds to claim your company is racist and that you "should be held accountable for the content of programmes the network airs", you don't think there is an implied threat there?

    Does our Government have a place threatening, or ven simply calling out, our media for the specific content of their commentary on today's most vital issues?[/QUOTE]
    I agree. Itís hard to be certain without actually seeing the letter but the point of the letter was obviously to influence CNN otherwise they wouldnít have written it. Since they purposely referenced their positions of power in the government and later mentioned that they should be held accountable, I think it can be interpreted as a threat. It may not be illegal or anything like that but I at least think itís inappropriate.

    If each member of the caucus had written a separate letter as private citizens I think it would be an entirely different story.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2519233]When a group of Senators writes your media company a letter on Congressional letterhead, and proceeds to claim your company is racist and that you "should be held accountable for the content of programmes the network airs", you don't think there is an implied threat there?

    Does our Government have a place threatening, or ven simply calling out, our media for the specific content of their commentary on today's most vital issues?[/QUOTE]

    are you using hypotheticals here or does it say the letter was on official letterhead?

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2519233]When a group of Senators writes your media company a letter on Congressional letterhead, and proceeds to claim your company is racist and that you "should be held accountable for the content of programmes the network airs", you don't think there is an implied threat there?

    Does our Government have a place threatening, or ven simply calling out, our media for the specific content of their commentary on today's most vital issues?[/QUOTE]

    Whose letterhead? The story doesn't say.

    Also, the "Congressional Hispanic Caucus" is not the same thing as "the government."

    Beyond that, there are many, many, many ways the caucus members could act against CNN/Dobbs that would be entirely appropriate. They could lead protests, for instance. They could challenge Dobbs to a debate on his program. They could even raise money to run ads taking issues with Lou Dobbs' claims or write op-eds in newspapers doing the same.

    These are major political figures and this is a major political issue, and they can be as vocal and forceful as they want, so long as they do not abuse their power in doing so. They can't censor him. They cannot threaten any regulatory retaliation to CNN or its advertisers. But --as a caucus designed to represent Hispanic interests-- they are well within their rights --and mission-- to protest.

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