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01/06/2006 10:19:11 AM · #1
...take someone off the air?

Rev. Robertson yesterday proclaimed that it is God's punishment that Mr. Sharon got a stroke. Only weeks ago he publicly instigated assasination of a foreign leader (Mr. Chavez). Why is he still on the air?

If you are insane enough to try to defend his statement, please do so in another thread. If you have an explanation on why is he still on air, please share. I'd like to know...

And yes, while rationalizing, remember Bill Maher and his show, and what happened to him after babbling on air.
01/06/2006 10:36:26 AM · #2
Slightly more scary even than the response of the Iranian President (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad): "Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Shatila has joined his ancestors is final.".

In the UK we are struggling to find the correct path between freedom of speech and state protectionism: there is a proposed Racial and Religious Hatred Bill that would make incitement to religious hatred a criminal offence, but which is highly controversial. On the one hand, certain inflammatory statements might be cauterized. On the other, the risk is that the language used in the bill will have unintended consequences for the arts as a whole (certain plays could no longer be put on, certain comedy sketches could not be performed). It is a very fine line to tread.

The inflammatory statements (from both sides) are depressingly likely to result in fresh violence.
01/06/2006 10:37:03 AM · #3
Which air? If it is his own broadcasting network, no way to get him off until he decides to go of his own will. If it is network rebroadcast of his own network, then shame on them. If it is network broadcast of original statement, again, shame on them.

If you complain repeatedly to the FCC you may get him off. But I am sure he has enough clout to avoid that.
01/06/2006 01:06:46 PM · #4
Yes, Pat Robertson owns the Christian Broadcasting Network that airs his show, The 700 Club, and he has a loooong history of statements such as these. (Just do a google search and you can read his many outlandish statements over the years.) Remember that Robertson has given huge amounts of campaign contributions to the Republicans and Bush administration and has opened his airways to Karl Rove and other Republican politicians to get their message accross to the millions that watch him. It then makes it highly unlikely that the FCC would come down hard on him to curb his hate mongering.
01/06/2006 01:16:44 PM · #5
Yes, I can see how it is much easier to come down with a huge fine on a station that exposes a naked breast for 1.5s and talk about it for months than it is to sanction instigating hatred.

And regarding campaign contributions, all money is good money. If it proves to be bad, it can always be returned and all will be forgotten and forgiven (GOP gave $$$ they got from Abramoff to some charity after learning that his money was dirty. Who cares any more?)
01/06/2006 01:20:36 PM · #6
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Yes, Pat Robertson owns the Christian Broadcasting Network that airs his show, The 700 Club, and he has a loooong history of statements such as these. (Just do a google search and you can read his many outlandish statements over the years.) Remember that Robertson has given huge amounts of campaign contributions to the Republicans and Bush administration and has opened his airways to Karl Rove and other Republican politicians to get their message accross to the millions that watch him. It then makes it highly unlikely that the FCC would come down hard on him to curb his hate mongering.


Would you want someone controlling what they can and can't say on the air infringing on first ammendment rights (other then dirty words and what not)? I hope the FCC does not start coming down on people that say what they think on the air as that would be what happens in communist countrys. He's free to say it and we are free to think him and his supporters are idiots if we so chose.

Who he supports politically has no relevance to this topic. If Bush or Rove said it, then you could bash them.
01/06/2006 01:31:04 PM · #7
From Wikipedia: Robertson has described feminism as a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians," he took credit for steering the course in 1985 of Hurricane Gloria, he declared: "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist," Robertson stated that the acceptance of homosexuality [at Disney World] could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs and "possibly a meteor," After making emotional pleas in 1994 on The 700 Club for cash donations to Operation Blessing to support airlifts of refugees from Rwanda to Zaire, it was later discovered, by a reporter from The Virginian Pilot, that Operation Blessing's planes were transporting diamond-mining equipment for the Robertson-owned African Development Corporation.

Charming.
01/06/2006 01:34:10 PM · #8
Freedom of Speech. He is allowed to express his opinions, as are you.

IF he is on an FCC licensed airwave, then complaing to the FCC or local cahnnels that carry his show is the way to go.

Unless you become like him, and want him assasisinated or wich him a stroke to shut him up. DOH!
01/06/2006 01:41:50 PM · #9
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Freedom of Speech. He is allowed to express his opinions, as are you.


Yes, but freedoms have certain limitations. For example, you would probably get in trouble for yelling "Fire!" in a movie theatre when in fact their is none - exciting panic in everyone and causing havoc - what would happen if a toddler got trampled over and died? This would be a case where it infringes on the rights of others.

That being said, in this particular case I don't think he could get in trouble. I think he's probably well within his right. Not that I agree with what he's saying.
01/06/2006 01:43:07 PM · #10
Originally posted by LoudDog:

Would you want someone controlling what they can and can't say on the air infringing on first ammendment rights (other then dirty words and what not)? I hope the FCC does not start coming down on people that say what they think on the air as that would be what happens in communist countrys. He's free to say it and we are free to think him and his supporters are idiots if we so chose.


Why do you find the word "fuck" offensive when heard on TV, but not the words he uttered? Do you think that when the majority of people hear one of the FCC forbidden words or see a tit on TV, their lives are changed forever and they get scarred for life, while hearing someone call for assasination and explaining it eloquently OR seeing half-naked people in highly suggestive poses in prime time shows perfectly OK?

I do not agree with a recommendation that we apply the strict state control that you may find in other parts of the world on the media. I am just recommending that we lift the strict partial control and filtering that now exists (see above).
01/06/2006 01:46:05 PM · #11
Originally posted by LoudDog:

Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Yes, Pat Robertson owns the Christian Broadcasting Network that airs his show, The 700 Club, and he has a loooong history of statements such as these. (Just do a google search and you can read his many outlandish statements over the years.) Remember that Robertson has given huge amounts of campaign contributions to the Republicans and Bush administration and has opened his airways to Karl Rove and other Republican politicians to get their message accross to the millions that watch him. It then makes it highly unlikely that the FCC would come down hard on him to curb his hate mongering.


Would you want someone controlling what they can and can't say on the air infringing on first ammendment rights (other then dirty words and what not)? I hope the FCC does not start coming down on people that say what they think on the air as that would be what happens in communist countrys. He's free to say it and we are free to think him and his supporters are idiots if we so chose.

Who he supports politically has no relevance to this topic. If Bush or Rove said it, then you could bash them.


No, I'm not in favor of censorship unless what is preached is hatred and violence. Pat Robertson has advocated killing Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, an extreme form of censorship; and Christian fundamentalism seems to have a long history of attempted censorship, including, most recently, the Harry Potter books. The commons are always a compromise of some sort between freedom of speech and some kind of censorship.
01/06/2006 01:46:08 PM · #12
He's absolutely protected in his right to say what he did, and I cannot believe any American would suggest otherwise. What he said is a matter of opinion, and he is absolutely entitled to express his opinion. It may be idiotic, but it's his. And you may be sure that there are many who share that opinion.

To ban Robertson from the airwaves for saying such things would be profoundly unamerican and extremely dangerous; the "cure" is worse than the disease. The precednt would be established that it's "reasonable" to ban the expression of opinions that do not adhere to currently "correct" dogma in any area.

To compare what happened to Maher with the Robertson situation is meaningless; Maher fell victim to his bosses, not the FCC.

Robt.
01/06/2006 01:47:13 PM · #13
Originally posted by scalvert:

From Wikipedia: Robertson has described feminism as a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians," he took credit for steering the course in 1985 of Hurricane Gloria, he declared: "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist," Robertson stated that the acceptance of homosexuality [at Disney World] could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs and "possibly a meteor," After making emotional pleas in 1994 on The 700 Club for cash donations to Operation Blessing to support airlifts of refugees from Rwanda to Zaire, it was later discovered, by a reporter from The Virginian Pilot, that Operation Blessing's planes were transporting diamond-mining equipment for the Robertson-owned African Development Corporation.

Charming.


Nobody said that he is insane. He is potentially dangerous because all he does is calculated and has a purpose higher than a spiritual curtain behind which he hides. Money and power.
01/06/2006 01:51:51 PM · #14
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

To ban Robertson from the airwaves for saying such things would be profoundly unamerican and extremely dangerous; the "cure" is worse than the disease. The precednt would be established that it's "reasonable" to ban the expression of opinions that do not adhere to currently "correct" dogma in any area.

To compare what happened to Maher with the Robertson situation is meaningless; Maher fell victim to his bosses, not the FCC.

Robt.


Robert,

I am not sure what to recommend here. I do not want to forcefully remove anyone from the air, but does it mean that if I had enough money, I could buy myself a TV channel and air whatever I like? Any anti-XXXX program I can think of? (XXXX = capitalism, semitism, <slang for>african american, <slang for>hispanic, etc.)

The comparison to the Maher case is in the cable companies that carry his channel. Because someone pays to watch it. Sad.
01/06/2006 02:06:31 PM · #15
Originally posted by srdanz:

does it mean that if I had enough money, I could buy myself a TV channel and air whatever I like? Any anti-XXXX program I can think of?


Yes, but to have a following you have to tie your opinions to religious belief. If you just claimed that you had the ability to influence hurricanes, you'd just be viewed as a nut with a lot of money. BUT, if you can convince your audience that God is on your side, someone will be willing to kill for you (a Christian fundamentalist bombing an abortion clinic or a Muslim fundamentalist bombing a restaurant). When tied to religious fervor, freedom of speech can have life-or-death consequences.

Message edited by author 2006-01-06 14:09:36.
01/06/2006 02:20:48 PM · #16
Originally posted by srdanz:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

To ban Robertson from the airwaves for saying such things would be profoundly unamerican and extremely dangerous; the "cure" is worse than the disease. The precednt would be established that it's "reasonable" to ban the expression of opinions that do not adhere to currently "correct" dogma in any area.

To compare what happened to Maher with the Robertson situation is meaningless; Maher fell victim to his bosses, not the FCC.

Robt.


Robert,

I am not sure what to recommend here. I do not want to forcefully remove anyone from the air, but does it mean that if I had enough money, I could buy myself a TV channel and air whatever I like? Any anti-XXXX program I can think of? (XXXX = capitalism, semitism, <slang for>african american, <slang for>hispanic, etc.)

The comparison to the Maher case is in the cable companies that carry his channel. Because someone pays to watch it. Sad.


Well, the cable companies you are referring to presumably understand their demographics; if they leave him on the air it is because their viewers want to watch his show. Make no mistake about it; I consider Robertson and his followers to be dangerous people. But it's interesting to note that this is being discussed by us in a climate in which President Bush is literally attempting to make an end run around the constitution, with his people claiming that the constitution has nothing in it that guarantees our right to privacy and therefore that right does not exist. Never mind the 9th amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Yes, I consider Bush and his cronies to be dangerous people as well.

So which is the greater danger? I hold that perverting the constitution is too great a price to pay for the simple luxury of shutting people up. Look at it this way: if Robertson were a man on a soapbox at the entrance to Washington Square preaching stridently exactly what he is broadcasting on the airwaves, would you support the right of the police to haul him off the box and send him on his way? And if so, where will you draw the line? If we get Bush's universal surveillance in place, and that surveillance overhears Robertson ranting in his own home to a group of friends, what then?

The specter of the thought police hangs heavily in the BG, waiting for its chance to enter our lives for once and for all.

R.
01/06/2006 02:35:13 PM · #17
Originally posted by srdanz:

Originally posted by LoudDog:

Would you want someone controlling what they can and can't say on the air infringing on first ammendment rights (other then dirty words and what not)? I hope the FCC does not start coming down on people that say what they think on the air as that would be what happens in communist countrys. He's free to say it and we are free to think him and his supporters are idiots if we so chose.


Why do you find the word "fuck" offensive when heard on TV, but not the words he uttered? Do you think that when the majority of people hear one of the FCC forbidden words or see a tit on TV, their lives are changed forever and they get scarred for life, while hearing someone call for assasination and explaining it eloquently OR seeing half-naked people in highly suggestive poses in prime time shows perfectly OK?

I do not agree with a recommendation that we apply the strict state control that you may find in other parts of the world on the media. I am just recommending that we lift the strict partial control and filtering that now exists (see above).


The seven dirty words and nudity is an FCC rule put on the airwaves. That's a whole different topic.
If the FCC made a rule stating that you can't say someone's illness is god's punishment because of their sins, then Robertson would be guilty.
Personally I think Robertson is an idiot and I question his supporters/followers, but I will support his right to be an idiot on TV 100% just as I support the rights of Rush, Air America, CNN and Fox to say what they want.

And a few side notes, was Howard Stern just as wrong for wishing cancer on the chairman of the FCC? Would the ACLU defend Pat Robertson if the FCC came after him for this?
01/06/2006 02:49:03 PM · #18
Hmm,
I read you loud and clear Robert.

I want to make a few things crystal clear before this goes in a wrong direction: I think that the US Constitution is one of the better written constitutions in the world. However, the constitutions, written by mortals, serve as guidelines for other mortals to interpret it and write the laws based on it. And these mortals interpret constitutions differently. If there were not such different interpretations possible we would not have these fights around Supreme court nominees, right?
If two conflicting laws can be enacted and both be aligned with the constitution, then it is not the constitution's fault but rather the lawmakers' fault if and when such thing occurs.
And speaking of liberties, I really want to express my support for the Bill of Rights. I think that it is a great thing. However, I do not think that the exercise of one's rights is easy and that everyone can afford to exercise their constitutional right even though they may be entitiled to it by all the laws.

If Pat would stand on a soapbox in front of the White House and give his speech, and if I took my 70-200mm, climbed on a box next to him and pointed it towards the lawn, who do you think the police would knock down and remove first?

I am saying, maybe we need a cold shower. We have all these rights, yes, and we are so proud of them and we claim how we are the best in the world, and that may be so on paper. Having all the freedom on paper is good if you have the time and the money to prove that you were right on paper, get an apology later etc. Sometimes I long for less rights on paper but more freedom on the "streets", etc... There is always a gray area between extreme good and extreme bad. While thought police is on the extremely bad side, some damage control should be exercised from time to time, and not only when we see a tit on TV. I go back to this infamous tit because it shows how much we taunt righteousness when it suits us just fine and how we evade it hiding behind the word "freedom" whenever it suits us on the opposite side.

Maybe I'm wrong and I don't see it, but I came from what you would call "oppressive" country and the two are comparable. Not diametrically opposite, but quite comparable in many respects. I'm just trying to open people's eyes, I do not instigate gov't change (that'll happen in november elections anyway), I support the constitution, and I want the best for all the people. But sometimes people need to be awakened from their dream to get better.

I wish my Shapes II score were better, so I would not have to rant here:-)
01/06/2006 03:09:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by LoudDog:

Personally I think Robertson is an idiot and I question his supporters/followers, but I will support his right to be an idiot on TV 100% just as I support the rights of Rush, Air America, CNN and Fox to say what they want.


I didn't hear you defending Bill Moyers when he was taken off the air by former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chair, Kenneth Tomlinson, for "liberal bias."
01/06/2006 03:21:43 PM · #20
Originally posted by srdanz:

Hmm,
I read you loud and clear Robert.

I want to make a few things crystal clear before this goes in a wrong direction: I think that the US Constitution is one of the better written constitutions in the world. However, the constitutions, written by mortals, serve as guidelines for other mortals to interpret it and write the laws based on it. And these mortals interpret constitutions differently. If there were not such different interpretations possible we would not have these fights around Supreme court nominees, right?
If two conflicting laws can be enacted and both be aligned with the constitution, then it is not the constitution's fault but rather the lawmakers' fault if and when such thing occurs.
And speaking of liberties, I really want to express my support for the Bill of Rights. I think that it is a great thing. However, I do not think that the exercise of one's rights is easy and that everyone can afford to exercise their constitutional right even though they may be entitiled to it by all the laws.

If Pat would stand on a soapbox in front of the White House and give his speech, and if I took my 70-200mm, climbed on a box next to him and pointed it towards the lawn, who do you think the police would knock down and remove first?

I am saying, maybe we need a cold shower. We have all these rights, yes, and we are so proud of them and we claim how we are the best in the world, and that may be so on paper. Having all the freedom on paper is good if you have the time and the money to prove that you were right on paper, get an apology later etc. Sometimes I long for less rights on paper but more freedom on the "streets", etc... There is always a gray area between extreme good and extreme bad. While thought police is on the extremely bad side, some damage control should be exercised from time to time, and not only when we see a tit on TV. I go back to this infamous tit because it shows how much we taunt righteousness when it suits us just fine and how we evade it hiding behind the word "freedom" whenever it suits us on the opposite side.

Maybe I'm wrong and I don't see it, but I came from what you would call "oppressive" country and the two are comparable. Not diametrically opposite, but quite comparable in many respects. I'm just trying to open people's eyes, I do not instigate gov't change (that'll happen in november elections anyway), I support the constitution, and I want the best for all the people. But sometimes people need to be awakened from their dream to get better.

I wish my Shapes II score were better, so I would not have to rant here:-)


This is well and good, but I've yet to see a viable proposal for cleansing public "spaces" (read airwaves, or anywhere else) of offensive opinions. The real problem is that a lot of people DO believe exactly what Robertson is preaching; he didn't come out of nowhere. And ANY censorship of thought and expression leads us down a dark path, as I'm sure you agree.

The FCC rules are a different kettle of fish altogether. There are definitely those who wish the FCC could "ban" certain lines of thought, as it were, but we simply can't go there. Arguably the FCC has perverted the constitution even by censoring certain sexual content, but so far the courts have upheld their right to do so. This censorship, however, is not so much in the form of "ideas" as it is HOW they are expressed. In other words, you can TALK about sex, you just can't use the word "f*ck".

R.
01/06/2006 03:24:42 PM · #21
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Originally posted by LoudDog:

Personally I think Robertson is an idiot and I question his supporters/followers, but I will support his right to be an idiot on TV 100% just as I support the rights of Rush, Air America, CNN and Fox to say what they want.


I didn't hear you defending Bill Moyers when he was taken off the air by former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chair, Kenneth Tomlinson, for "liberal bias."


Tomlinson was within his rights to fire his employees. Presumably he had the support of his board when he did so. Each organization has the right to decide how it wishes to be presented to, and seen by, the public. That's not to say they don't have an agenda, but rather that we can't keep them from having one in a "legal" sense; all we can do is let the Corporation for Public Broadcasting know that we don't agree with the decision.

R.
01/06/2006 03:37:38 PM · #22
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Originally posted by LoudDog:

Personally I think Robertson is an idiot and I question his supporters/followers, but I will support his right to be an idiot on TV 100% just as I support the rights of Rush, Air America, CNN and Fox to say what they want.


I didn't hear you defending Bill Moyers when he was taken off the air by former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chair, Kenneth Tomlinson, for "liberal bias."


Tomlinson was within his rights to fire his employees. Presumably he had the support of his board when he did so. Each organization has the right to decide how it wishes to be presented to, and seen by, the public. That's not to say they don't have an agenda, but rather that we can't keep them from having one in a "legal" sense; all we can do is let the Corporation for Public Broadcasting know that we don't agree with the decision.

R.


Tomlinson did not have the right to commission a secretive and illegal study into Bill Moyer's Now program. It went against federal law and CPB law, as did other activities he undertook while chair at CPB. He had to resign because of congressional pressure of accusations regarding political pressure from the White House. One of the main reasons for CPB existence is to insulate public broadcasting from political pressure. I believe they came about when Nixon tried it in the 70's.
01/06/2006 04:58:00 PM · #23
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Originally posted by LoudDog:

Personally I think Robertson is an idiot and I question his supporters/followers, but I will support his right to be an idiot on TV 100% just as I support the rights of Rush, Air America, CNN and Fox to say what they want.


I didn't hear you defending Bill Moyers when he was taken off the air by former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chair, Kenneth Tomlinson, for "liberal bias."


Fired by your boss for not doing your job properly and taken off the air by the governement are two different things.
01/06/2006 05:00:26 PM · #24
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

One of the main reasons for CPB existence is to insulate public broadcasting from political pressure.


Thus if Moyer had Liberal bias he was not doing his job properly and deserved to be fired.

Much different case then the Robertson issue.
01/06/2006 05:25:13 PM · #25
And why do you assume that it is the gov't that needs to take him off air? No one suggested that - you assumed that because it is easier to defend him with the constitutional rights if it were the gov't to take him off. Any other options?

By the way, ALL you can hear on TV these days is politically biased coverage, either way. There are no news on the news channels, only the interpretations and the explanations of the news.
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