*Moveon.org and CBS*
I would like to respond to Joel Lanceta's article in the 2/3/04 Maroon, "CBS Made the Right-winged Decision, Not the Right Decision."
Lanceta bases his argument on the parallel between White House-sponsored anti-drug ads and Moveon.org-sponsored anti-Bush ads. Yes, these are both advocacy ads, but I think that CBS's use of "advocacy" should be taken liberally, in that they don't mind universally accepted advocacy. "Child's Play" would have outraged a significant portion of their audience, whereas the White House backed ad, depicting what could happen to your child if he/she drinks and uses drugs, would not, since the pro-legalization lobby just isn't as powerful as the pro-Bush lobby.
CBS can show sexy ads because they don't personally attack many viewers. "Child's Play" directly attacks the views of roughly half of the Super Bowl audience. While the Sierra Mist ad may have grossed out some viewers, it didn't attack their opinions. Yes, the anti-drug ads may have offended a few hippies, but again, CBS has no reason to fear them.
The controversy goes beyond simple Bush-bashing however. "Child's Play" uses blatant underhanded imagery. The ad very clearly tries to connect Bush to child labor. In fact, the first two-thirds of it features only child labor and no references to Bush. Recall a Bush campaign ad from 2000, which featured a suspicious use of the word "rats" within the ad (the Bushism "subliminable" originates here). While not actually subliminal, the imagery was underhanded, and the ad was right to be attacked, as CBS news anchor Dan Rather did on air. CBS Evening News has also given opponents of Bush's tax cuts a 2-1 advantage in air time over proponents, but since Rather's leftist bias is a hole with no bottom, I'll go no further.
And since you bring up The Reagans, imagine this scenario: Charlton Heston produces a biopic of Jimmy Carter featuring one scene in which Rosalynn Carter pleads with the president to help the poor hostages in Iran. Jimmy essentially tells his wife that they got what they deserved for moving there. All of this while the real life Carter is on his deathbed. Do you honestly think CBS would air this garbage?
I have no doubt that equally controversial attacks from the right would be shot down as well, so I don't think this was a "hypocritical, truth-killing, pro-right-wing broadcast," as you put it. CBS isn't concerned with party politics. They're concerned about public opinion and the bottom line, as any such company should be.
First-year in the College
To the members of the Class of 2004:
Over the past month, you may have heard about our campaign for the Senior Class Gift. This year our gift will benefit the College Fund. The College Fund provides much needed support for financial aid, study abroad programs, internships and campus activities.
A few members of the Class of 2004 have questioned the value of the College Fund. Some of these seniors want our class gift to provide for something tangible on campus, such as another bench or a small material gift. The College Fund will touch more students in the years to come than would a simple bench. Not only will it enrich the experiences of current students through funding assistance in study abroad and student internships, but it can also make new student's dreams possible by increasing financial aid availability. The most lasting legacy that we could ever leave is to make the U of C experience, one we have all shared, possible for even one more prospective student.
Throughout the years, a bench will fade, be moved about by Scav Hunt, or possibly be forgotten. Increased funding for undergraduate campus programs, internships, and faculty cannot fade or decay. The College Fund is where our Senior Class Gift ought to go.
How can we make this possible and how can we leave this strong legacy? The Senior Class Gift Committee is currently accepting donations for the Senior Class Gift. We have a major donor this year who has agreed to add $25,000 to our gift if 50 percent or more of the Class of 2004 participates. We're not asking for huge donations at all: if every senior gives even one dollar then we can achieve our goal. Who could imagine that a $1 investment in our legacy could make so much money for the Class Gift!
We would strongly encourage members of the Class of 2004 to consider how they would like to be remembered by classes to come. We are certain that the best way to make our impression is through the College Fund: the possibilities and the realities are endless.
Senior Class Gift Co-Chairs