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Salt Lake City Censorship

(AP) A Utah television station is refusing to air an anti-war ad featuring Cindy Sheehan, whose son's death in Iraq prompted a vigil outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch.

Also, a patriotic camp with a "God Bless Our President!" banner sprung up in downtown Crawford, Texas Saturday, countering the anti-war demonstration started by Sheehan. The camp is named "Fort Qualls," in memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Louis Wayne Qualls, 20, who died in Iraq last fall.

The anti-war ad began airing on other Salt Lake City-area stations Saturday, two days before Bush was scheduled to speak in Salt Lake City to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

However, a national sales representative for KTVX, a local ABC affiliate, rejected the ad in an e-mail to media buyers, writing that it was an "inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City."

In the ad, Sheehan pleads with Bush for a meeting and accuses him of lying to the American people about Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction and its connection to al Qaeda.

"I love my country. But how many more of our loved ones need to die in this senseless war?" a weary-looking Sheehan asks in the ad. "I know you can't bring Casey back. But it's time to admit mistakes and bring our troops home now."

Salt Lake City affiliates of NBC, CBS and Fox began running the ad Saturday.

The ads were bought for Gold Star Families for Peace by Washington, D.C.-based Fenton Communications, which provided a copy of the e-mail from station sales representative Jemina Keller.

In a statement Saturday evening explaining its decision, KTVX said that after viewing the ad, local managers found the content "could very well be offensive to our community in Utah, which has contributed more than its fair share of fighting soldiers and suffered significant loss of life in the this Iraq war."

Bush carried nearly 70 percent of the vote last fall in Utah, one of the most conservative states north of the so-called Bible Belt.

Station General Manager David D'Antuono said the decision was not influenced by the station's owner, Clear Channel Communications Inc.

Celeste Zappala, who with Sheehan co-founded Gold Star Families for Peace, said she was puzzled by the decision.

"What stunned me was that it was inappropriate to hear this message," she said. "How is it that Salt Lake City should hear no questions about the war?"

The e-mail read: "The viewpoints reflected in the spot are incompatible with our marketplace and will not be well received by our viewers." It added that the spot didn't qualify as an issue advertisement.

For the ad to have been considered an "issue" advertisement a ballot measure would have had to be at stake, D'Antuono said.

Mark Wiest, vice president of sales for NBC-affiliated KSL television, said that in the interest of freedom of speech, his station didn't hesitate to run the ad. KSL is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The bigger picture is, by suppressing the message are we doing what is right under the First Amendment and in an open democratic society?" Wiest said.

In Crawford, Gary Qualls, the father of a slain soldier, explained his reasons for supporting the pro-war camp. "If I have to sacrifice my whole family for the sake of our country and world, other countries that want freedom, I'll do that," said Qualls, who is friends with the local business owner who started the camp. He said his 16-year-old son now wants to enlist, and he supports that decision.

Qualls' frustration with the anti-war demonstrators erupted last week when he removed a cross bearing his son's name that was among hundreds the group had put up along the road to Bush's ranch.

Qualls called the protesters' views disrespectful to soldiers, and said he had to yank out two more crosses after protesters kept replacing them.

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Mr. Qualls, may I suggest that to be utterly consistent, you should go to the cemetery where your son has been laid to rest and remove that marker as well since you obviously have no true respect for his death nor the lives of your other children. Apparently your ideologically driven lack of respect for your son's death as well as viewpoints which do not coincide with yours demonstrates just how detached you and many of your ilk are from the principles upon which the United States was founded. The anti-war protesters in Crawford and all around the country are acting to preserve our democracy and the Constitutional separation of powers. I suspect you have absoloutely NO IDEA to what I am referring.

This is an outrageous violation of the law! Since when is it the job of any employees of PUBLICLY subsidized media to act as censors?

Utah is a beautiful state, but I have not heard of tv stations turning down revenue. And Clear Channel is turning down what they consider an anti-Bush ad. Surprise, surprise. Another reason to turn on National Public Radio, etc.

How is it possible that the viewpoints expressed in the ad "could very well be offensive to our community in Utah, which has contributed more than its fair share of fighting soldiers and suffered significant loss of life in the this Iraq war."?

On the contrary, precisely because of Utah's sons and daughters participation in the war (by the way, what would be Utah's "fair share" according to KTVX?), it is necessary for this message to be heard.

"The viewpoints reflected in the spot are incompatible with our marketplace and will not be well received by our viewers." So, is Utah monolithically for the war? How do the executives at KTVX know this?

How sad and sick that Mr. Qualls is willing to sacrifice his whole family including his 16 year old son to justify the proven lies of this corrupt administratioon.He should read the Downing Street Memo.

One of the tenets of the LDS church is that they must be unquestioningly obedient to kings, presidents and whomever else "God" has "placed in authority" over them. Apparently, the (so-called) Conservative Christian Right shares this belief.

Good for you, I say! You love theocracy so damn much - go live in Saudi Arabia!! I'm sure Fecal-boy George W would be happy to arrange your emigration, being as he OBVIOUSLY loves the House of Saud even as he shows contempt for the citizens of the nation he FALSELY swore to protect!!

FYI, this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, where WE, THE PEOPLE are the AUTHORITY - NOT some sick, inbred King nor some cowardly, self-serving cowboy president and his Korporate Whores - and DEFINITELY NOT some Pope, Archbishop, Imam, Ayatollah, Brahmin, Dali Lama, Druidic Council or Patriarch!!

The "Divine Spark" we call "God" and "Goddess" may exist in the heart of each individual man and woman - but it needs to stay there. Because it is such a personal and individual Matter, it has NO PLACE in POLITICAL DISCOURSE.

Unless you want unending Holy Wars, Inquisitions, and Persecutions - and MEDIA CENSORSHIP.

I agree with you to send Mr Qualls to Iraq let him go and suffer
instead of sending his whole family, he is a bog coward, just like our leader. Send the cowards to Iraq and put them in an un armed tank and no body armour and see how the pee their pants, big cowards

Please allow me to correct you on your exposition of LDS tenets regarding government. The doctrine you cite is found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 134 verses 5 and 6, and in Articles of Faith verse 12 as follows:

"5) We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, WHILE PROTECTED IN THEIR INHERENT AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS BY THE LAWS OF SUCH GOVERNMENTS; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen THUS PROTECTED, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.
"6) We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men show respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker." (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 134:5 - 6, emphasis added.)

"12) We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." (Pearl of Great Price | Articles of Faith 1:12)

Please note that there is no mention of unquestioning obedience or the idea that governmental authorities are placed in their positions by God. Indeed, verse 5 of section 134 specifically includes the exceptions "while protected in their . . . rights" and "thus protected" in declaring the conditions required for Mormons to support their governments. We are counseled to be good citizens, which includes holding our elected and appointed officials accountable for their actions.

While many right-wingers in Utah may be Mormons, not all Mormons are right-wing, and as an organization, the Church is certainly not. The holding of conservative positions regarding some social and moral issues does not automatically translate into right-wing political positions on questions relating to economic and social justice.


Mr Qualls
If you think it such an honor to die for Bush
Then you go to Iraq and endure the heat and sand storms and the
violence, and the carnage. You go today and put your money where your big mouth is. How dare you sacrfice your whole family for a man who could care less for you, you give your life for him and that is all, go ahead and do it, you are a big of a coward as he is .

I have lived in the Utah TV viewing area for nearly 50 years, and have always known that they are born and raised with a Stepford Wife mentality. They even have their own lingo. It is rare to be able to find one who can properly pronounce the word "picture". My deceased husband grew up there and told stories about activities there that I found similar to science fiction, or comic book dialogue. Hence, their inability to distinguish truth from fiction as far as Bush is concerned. Karl Rove comes from Utah. Need I say more? Bush and his cronies and the mormons rely heavily on the power of brainwash. Before they ever begin a story, such as WMD as a reason for the war, they have fictional stories to back up their reasoning. Telling my tales of horrors with mormons beginning when my children were small would take hundreds of pages. They are not what they project themselves to be to the general public. Bush and mormons go hand in hand and resemble dictators out of the past. They want total control!

President Bush will never meet with Cindy Sheehan, who is demanding that he tell her the 'truth' about exactly why her son died in Iraq. Because he will never be able to tell her the honest truth....that he lied to the American people ... LIED in his criminal effort on behalf of his American Big Oil supporters, his Administration cronies' interests, his own family's interests in American Big Oil and his own family's suspect relationship with the Saudi Royal Family... to drag our nation into a war with Iraq for the sole purpose of destroying Saddam Hussein's Post-Gulf War Sanctions plans to have the French, the Germans, the Chinese and the Russians, by signed contracts,* extract Iraq's oil and market it outside of the control of OPEC thereby destroying the rigid, non-competitive price controls and outrageous profits being made and being enjoyed by the Bush / Chaney / Big Oil / OPEC / Saudi Royal Family CABAL and replacing it with honest competition ... an effort that has resulted in the deaths of over 1800
American G.I.'s, the wounding and maiming of over 13,000 American G.I.'s, and the deaths and injuries of over 100,000 Iraqi Civilians.

To paraphrase Mr. Joseph Welch, in his famous confrontation with the pathologically cruel Sen. Joseph McCarthy:

"Have you no sense of decency, Mr. President, at long last?.... Have you left no sense of decency?"

MAD-ly yours,
Al Feldstein
Retired Editor of MAD Magazine.

3882 U.S. Hwy 89 So.
Livingston, MT 59047
406 222 0601

*See "The Cheney Energy Task Force Papers"... made public by the work of Judicial Watch...deliniating the "Suitors For Iraqi Oil" and their lucrative "Post-Gulf War Sanctions" contracts signed with Saddam

Amazing that this TV station, which is supposed to uphold the public trust which includes offering multiple viewpoints, would stoop to censoring paid advertisement, based on the politics of the executives in control.

Their reason for excluding the ad is bogus as evidenced by the fact that the other TV stations, including conservative FOX had no problem recognizing the 1st amendment rights of the commercial backers and gladly took their money, which really begs the question here: KTVX, are you abdicating your responsibility as a public entrusted media outlet and allowing your political views to overide freedom of expression and the inclusion of opposing views? That's exactly how the Nazi's and many other fascist regimes ensured their ascent to power--by the exclusion of other points of view outside their ideology.

Mormans believe it's right to have a harem. Enough said about them. Bush believes in more and more radioactive waste. Let's send the radioactive waste to Utah for them to bury. That would be the "Patriotic" thing to do for their dictator Bush.

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