Mob Censorship

Following up on a rant from yesterday, CBS did indeed pull their movie about Ronald Reagan from the schedule, caving into pressure from the Republican National Committee and others. Although these people had never seen the film, I guess they were afraid it wouldn’t be reverent enough.

The fact that the movie won’t be shown really doesn’t matter. I don’t like TV movies of any kind, especially those that are "ripped from the headlines". What bothers me is the mob censorship at work here. If one group or another decides a movie, TV show, recording, whatever, offends them in some way, they work up a phone/letter/email campaign to stop it, often based only on hearsay and rumors. And this is not just the province of conservatives (although they’re louder and better organized these days). So-called liberal groups, from environmentalists to civil rights organizations, do exactly the same thing.

Part of the American ideal has always been that everyone has the right to voice their opinion, letting the public decide – after the fact – which to believe. For all the lip service both sides of the political spectrum give to free speech, the number of people afforded that right seems to be shrinking.

Now that you’ve indulged my rant on this topic (thank you!), cruise on over to the Buzz Machine and let Jeff Jarvis offer more insight on why this particular cop out by CBS is a bad thing for free speech.