Monday, July 12, 2004

Clear Channel Communications, one of the biggest media companies in the U.S. and a major owner of radio stations across the country, is in the news for censoring antiwar speech again. An article in the Business section of today's New York Times reports that CCC rejected an ad by Project Billboard to be displayed in Times Square; the ad showed a red, white, and blue bomb with the words, "Democracy is best taught by example, not by war." The ad was rejected even after Project Billboard agreed to CCC's request to change the bomb to a dove, and despite having agreed to the terms of lease for the billboard back in December. Project Billboard is suing CCC for breach of contract.

It's interesting that, despite the right's claims that the media is controlled by the left, and that conservatives are censored and discriminated against in Hollywood and academia, the most blatant attempts at censoring speech always seem to come from conservative media organizations with well-known ties to the Republican Party. Back in April, when Ted Koppel announced his intention to read aloud the names of the hundreds of men and women who had been killed in Iraq while showing their photographs, Sinclair Broadcast Group, "the largest non-network owner of television stations in the country," according to, pulled that night's edition of Nightline off the air.

And of course, Clear Channel also gained a reputation for censorship by using its radio stations to promote the invasion of Iraq and refusing to play the music of musicians who opposed the war--like the Dixie Chicks.

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