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BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial

Coyote Breath 03 Dec 04 - 02:00 PM
Don Firth 03 Dec 04 - 03:37 PM
artbrooks 03 Dec 04 - 06:42 PM
katlaughing 03 Dec 04 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,marks 03 Dec 04 - 07:47 PM
Deckman 03 Dec 04 - 07:52 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Dec 04 - 07:53 PM
frogprince 03 Dec 04 - 09:10 PM
Peace 03 Dec 04 - 09:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Dec 04 - 01:18 AM
LadyJean 04 Dec 04 - 01:31 AM
Don Firth 04 Dec 04 - 12:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Dec 04 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Frank 04 Dec 04 - 05:25 PM
Coyote Breath 04 Dec 04 - 07:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Dec 04 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Auggie (cookieless, of course) 04 Dec 04 - 09:49 PM
dwditty 05 Dec 04 - 01:45 AM
katlaughing 05 Dec 04 - 04:21 AM
GUEST 05 Dec 04 - 11:10 AM
Don Firth 05 Dec 04 - 03:10 PM
dianavan 05 Dec 04 - 04:16 PM
Coyote Breath 05 Dec 04 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,guest 08 Dec 04 - 10:00 AM
Coyote Breath 08 Dec 04 - 11:50 AM
YorkshireYankee 08 Dec 04 - 03:57 PM
Ellenpoly 09 Dec 04 - 04:26 AM

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Subject: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 02:00 PM

I have a strong urge to not view anything on CBS or NBC right now. Reason for the thought to boycott? Our church (The United Church, of Christ) is commencing a series of promotions and created an ad which very clearly states that we welcome EVERYONE. In the promo are a gay couple who are turned away from a church (as are a latino man and a black woman) by two thug-like guys. The text says: "Jesus never turned anyone away". then: "Neither do we." The networks mentioned considered the ad "too controversial"

if anyone is interested in viewing the ad go to www.stillspeaking.com and wait a bit. After the black screen and initial message run you will see the home page and roughly in the center you can see a short clip of the video.

I'm not going to say much other than I feel that the ad is an honest
statement of my church's "position" on recent negative behavior on the part of various religious organizations and leaders. We aren't trying to pick a fight, just offering our congregations as a haven for those who are feeling alienated and pushed out.

We are a "mainstream" church and have always been at the forefront of struggles for justice and human rights. We decided we needed to become more "proactive". The defrocking, today, of a Methodist minister because of her sexual orientation is one of many recent events which we find we must respond to in a truly Christian way.

Thanks for reading this.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 03:37 PM

Yeah, CB, I just found out about this myself.

I'm a practice Christian, but not a "believing" one, if that makes any kind of sense to you. I go to Seattle's Central Lutheran Church with some regularity because I like the openness and general all-around kindness of the people who attend, I like the broad-mindedness of the pastors whose sermons tend to emphasize how we should live and treat each other rather than concentrating on sin and personal salvation, and I like the social programs the church is involved in. The work this particular church does allows me to multiply my own efforts along this line. I might be regarded as "unbelieving" because theologically and philosophically I have a lot of issues with religion in general, including belief in God, at least as most religious people conceive of Him/Her/It. I think one could regard me as an agnostic. Those literalists who picture God as a cranky old man in a bed-sheet up on Arcturus 12 as depicted by many Renaissance painters, watching Earth, marking the fall of every sparrow, and hurling thunderbolts at "evildoers" would undoubtedly regard me as an atheist. Fortunately I'm able to have some good discussions with the pastors, and I find that I'm not the only one with such questions. When a pastor says "Religion rarely offers answers. But it asks important questions," that's someone I can talk with.

Central Lutheran is one of a substantial number of churches of various denominations in this area that have adopted the "Reconciled in Christ" document, which embraces inclusion. HERE.

So—having established where I'm coming from, the basic message that the CBS and NBC refusal to air this ad seems to be that they believe only certain people should be allowed to go to the church of their choice. Or any church at all. I think people should see the ad that these two networks have refused to air. It takes a few moments to download, but people should know.

This ad is too controversial?? Why do they think it's too controversial?

LINK.

God help us!!

Don Firth

P.S.: I'm also going to give the pastor of Central Lutheran Church a "heads up" about this in case she might have missed it. I'm sure she'll have a lot to say about this. She can be a real tiger when she's riled.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 06:42 PM

I saw the same article...and found it interesting that FOX is apparently airing the ad without any questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 07:32 PM

Thanks for the heads-up on this, CB! Unbelievable...esp. considering all of the "controversial" carp the right-wing spews forth, particularly during the recent elections.


Good for UCC and DOn, good to hear that about your church, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: GUEST,marks
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 07:47 PM

Why should it be controversial? Even if you do consider homosexuality a sin (I don't; just speaking hypothetically), wouldn't the inside of a church be the very place you would WANT the sinners to come, if you are a believing Christian????


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 07:52 PM

Geeze Don ... what am I going to do with you. First of all you tell me that you are a churchgoer, and then you imply that your Pastor is a WOMAN! (of all things ... have you no shame)?

I suppose the next thing you'll expect me to believe is that your Church believes that EVERYONE should be made welcome. KEERIST! What kind of a phoney belief system is that?

Why ... if EVERYONE is made welcome, we might have to entertain foreign thoughts! We can't have foreign thoughts because we have our minds made up already on how we think. If we have to change our thinking, then we have to change or minds. And then we'd be just like a bunch of .... "wimmen!" (As Walt used to say).

GEEEEEZE!!!! Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 07:53 PM

Hey, Coyote: Haven't seen the commercial, but on balance, I can't see a good reason to ban it. All churches should be inclusive, and perhaps the only gripe I'd have with the commercial if I saw it is the implication that other churches turn away blacks, latinos and gays. That kinda strike me like the staments that "they" do this, whithout ever being able to figure out just who "they" are. Rioght of hand, I can't think of a church I've attended in my life that would turn away blacks or latinos or gays. The four churches I attend on as regular a basis as you can attend four churches are mainstream Baptist... three are primarily black congregations and the fourth is mostly white, with a reasonable balance of blacks. Many of the Lutheran and Baptist churches I've been a member of over my life have had gay members, and there is a gay couple who sing in the Male Chorus at the black church where I am currently a member.

As a general rule, I think it's better to concentrate on what you're doing positive. I commend your church for its openness. Is it necessary to generalize in a negative way about other churches in order to get your message across? I realize that there are individual churches (and certainly members of almost every church) who are prejudiced and unwelcoming. But, I tend to get nervous about negative generalities...

Just my respectful opinion..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: frogprince
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:10 PM

I kinda hope Jerry has hit on the real reason they have refused the ad; that at least would be a more palatable rational than anything else I could think of. But, who knows what really lurks in the minds of network executives sometimes? I suppose a real explanation of their motives would be too much to ask for.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Peace
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:18 PM

The advertisement would have been more effective without the goons, IMO. I commend your church for the positive it expresses.

Advertisements that I always found effective were those from the LDS poeple (Mormons). Although I am not 'into' their church, I always enjoyed what their ad campaigns homed in on. I can but echo what Jerry said above: Talk about what yer church is doing right. Then it won't matter what the 'other' churches are doin wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 01:18 AM

In a 30 second ad they had to do something to convey the fact that "Other" believers have not been invited in. The gatekeepers cut to the chase.

I find the Mormons to be a very stodgy and sexist group, yet, as brucie indicates, they have some good PR folks. The commercials, like the kids having the water fight (dad says "stop where you are" then reappears with a camera) are probably effective for people who haven't made up their minds about their particular religion.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 01:31 AM

If you go to the Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, and your attire is too casual, they'll seat you in the organ loft. The church has ushers in morning coats, to intimidate the hoi polloi.
They have no problem with gays, Shadyside has a large gay community, as long as they gays are properly attired. But the lower orders of society are NOT welcome there.
My church welcomes all kinds, and God knows we 've got them. One of the ladies of the church rather obviously started life as a gentleman.
Not many churches would welcome him/her.
Some churches find ways to keep undesirables out, like seating them in the organ loft. So, bully for the UCC. And boo his to CBS and NBC. NBC shows "Fear Factor", and "Will and Grace", but they won't show a commercial from a church group! What a load of unprintable word!


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 12:03 PM

         The town drunk woke up one morning with a ghastly hangover as he had done many mornings for years. But this morning, it was different. One might call it his "road to Damascus" experience. He asked himself why he was wasting his life in this manner, and how could he change it. Could he change it? He realized that he needed help.
         He was on his way to the neighborhood church when, as luck would have it, he ran into the minister, who was out taking his morning constitutional walk.
         "Reverend," he said, "I would like to come to church. In fact, I would like to join the church."
         The minister frowned and said, "No, I don't think so. I don't think we want your kind in our church."
         "But why not?" said the town drunk. "Why don't you want me to come?"
         The minister looked at the man, exasperated at his apparent stupidity. "I suggest," he said, "that you get down on your knees and ask God why we don't want you in our church."
         So the town drunk went back to his small basement room. He got down on his knees and prayed for the first time since he was a small boy.
         "God," he said, "I need help and I think I need to go to church, but they won't have me. The minister told me to ask you why. Please, God, tell me."
         To his surprise, he found himself in a pool of light. He heard a strong but gentle voice saying, "Don't worry about it. I've been trying to get into that church for years, but they won't let Me in either."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 01:25 PM

The whole idea of paid adverts saying "come and join our church, we're better than the rest" seems a bit strange to me. Like supermarkets.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 05:25 PM

Good joke, Don.

Everyone,

I think it's purely political. The networks are afraid of reprisals from the theo-gogues in the government. They are also afraid of the theocratic crazies who are organized to smear in the name of their "Crusade".

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 07:46 PM

Jerry, I think the assumption on CBS' NBC's part(s) is just what you state. But also isn't saying that we turn no one away saying something positive? The "religious right" does turn people away (and off) but we want only to let those people who feel that they might not be welcome in some congregations know that they are certainly welcome in ours. We aren't really aiming at those who have decided to come as worshipers to a church but those who might wish to do so but don't have the experience of an inclusive congregation or are intimidated by the all the negative rhetoric concerning gays, their rights and inclusion in the benefits of our society as equals. We want people who are "not acceptable" to feel accepted. We want foreigners to know that we do not consider them potential enemies and that we want them to no longer be among us as strangers.

In our congregation we have referred to the ad as the "in your face" ad. Tomorrow our study group, which has been discussing "other faiths" will probably be talking at great length about the recent action by the networks and might not get to the lesson for December 5.

I'm sorry to go on so about this. I guess the whole issue and the initial decision of my church to persue this campaign has energized me and given me hope and a desire to go somewhere with my new found faith than just to church. A sort of "Go to Jesus as well as church!"

McGrath, we ain't saying that we are better we are saying that we turn no one away. There are attitudes on the part of some members of some congregations which ARE exclusive. The defrocking of a lesbian minister was done with strict adherence to the regulations which govern that church's minister's conduct. Having said that, exclusion is what is wrong, for whatever reason. The ad reminds all that Jesus included the disposessed and socially unacceptable and so do we.

There is a print ad upcoming which will cause an even greater stir. It has to do with the "good Samaritan". The word Samaritan is crossed out and in it's place is the word 'Iraqui'. Think of that message in the context of the attitude the people of Isreal had towards the people of Samaria. Our attitude towards the people of Iraq and the mid-east as a whole.

We are making strong statements in our messages because there is a crisis of faith in our society. We speak up and speak out, hoping for a "pool of light" to come down over the whole world. The ads are just a start.

And Kat, R and E are well and say hi! and as you might guess R is tickled about both the ad and the flap.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 08:07 PM

I've always liked the notice you see outside some churches - "Only sinners admitted".


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: GUEST,Auggie (cookieless, of course)
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 09:49 PM

Lets see, it's OK to run television adds for feminine hygiene sprays, douches, erectile dysfunction drugs (contact your physician if you can't get it down after more than 4 hours), condoms, aids and genital herpes medications (I hope you've enjoyed explaining these products to your inquisitive 1st or 2nd grader), but talking about Jesus? Whoa there, wait just a dog gone minute. Now THAT is way too controversial.

Welcome to America 2004. What are these guys in suits so afraid of?That maybe we will actual go to church and worship? What did Jesus do that 2000 years later they still get upset if you talk about him?

Nevermind, I think I know.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: dwditty
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 01:45 AM

It seems to me they are afraid of retribution from the Bush Administration. Yes, they can make $ on sitcoms about gays, or dramas, or news magazine shows...but this ad crosses the line? How about the Jerry Spinger's of the world...shows like his are aired when children are getting home from school and often unsupervised...accident? I don't think so. When then flap happened about the NFL Monday Night pre-game, everyone dodged cuplability...but it was ABC who went to the bank with all the dough.

I attend a Congregational church and applaud the UCC for taking the position that it has. I do not think the ad is meant to bash other churches as much to point out that inclusiveness is not universal in Christian churches despite the teachings of Christ. Where the UCC has fallen short though is leaving the decision to be open and affirming up to the individual congregations. This is a big issue at our church right now and the "listening" seesion tend to be very tense (fortunately, so far, controlled). In the end though, which ever way the decision goes, there will divisions within the congregation.

At a discussion meeting on the subject of same sex marriage (or unions, etc), someone asked the group what their individual responses would be if two same sex heterosexuals wanted to unite. There were more than a few ums and ers in response.

dw


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 04:21 AM

I hope that more churches will be this brave. The far right has taken over Christianity to where it has become a dirty word amongst many. It's about time the silent majority started to speak out and let folks know there are kind and loving Christians out there. (Same thing the GOP needs to do, imo!)

CB, thanks! Please tell R&E I said hello and did they know about my book of WY essays? They might enjoy it. (Just put "WindWords of Wyoming" in google search and voila!) Nice to hear from them and to see you back among us.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 11:10 AM

Imagine, this from networks who are about to hand off the reins of one white male network news anchor to another white male network news anchor.

How shocking.

Can any of you remember the last time you saw liberal religious news reports, liberal religious programming, etc. on TV in the US?

My answer: never.

It has never been on TV that I can remember. It's been all Billy Graham sorts of shit, all the time, including among Catholics (remember Fulton Sheen?) and their current network. You also don't see much of anything about secular moral values, or programming on, for, or about other religions. It is usually WASP or fundie Protestant stuff, or a tip of the hat to the right wing Catholic line.
No wonder some many dumb fucks think the US is a Christian country, eh?

Maybe instead of demonstrating in front of and against government institutions, we should be shutting down people's access to the networks, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 03:10 PM

Being an old geezer, I got a bit tired of gun fights, car chases, and stupid comedies so I'm a bit picky about the television I watch. I like dramas that get in and dig. One of the best dramatic series' that American television ever offered was on ABC. It was called Nothing Sacred It was about a young priest, an old priest, another younger priest, and a feisty nun in an inner-city church. They dealt with real problems. It wasn't much like Touched by an Angel; most of the episodes where pretty gritty, and the problems they tried to deal with (sometimes unsuccessfully) didn't have pat answers. Sort of like real life. It debuted in September of 1997, it drew immediate flak from various conservative and fundamentalist religious groups, and was cancelled in March of 1998.

One reviewer described the show this way:
         It is a realistic (if somewhat fast-paced) show that takes real issues facing people today and puts a religious spin on things. It deals with AIDS, abortion, and charity to the poor, among other things.
         Perhaps the best aspect of the show is its unabashed belief in the existence of God. The main characters pray, and they talk about their faith. We see actual Roman Catholic liturgy in action. We hear homilies that drive the point home.
         While Nothing Sacred could perhaps be considered too liberal in some circles, it does a very good job of showing many sides of an issue . . . and the overwhelming message of the show is that we are to love and care for other people, just as Christ did when He was on Earth."
HERE we have a priest's guarded optimism about the show after seeing the pilot.

And HERE's a Baptist minister's response to one of the hairier episodes. He though it was very good. He used it as a jumping off point for a sermon.

One of my favorites was the Christmas episode, when all three of the priests participated in a protest demonstration, got arrested with a bunch of other people, and wound up in the slammer. This left only Sister Maureen to conduct the Christmas Eve service. Apparently a woman, even a nun, conducting a service, delivering a homily, and serving communion is a very big no-no! But—with a cathedral packed with Christmas Eve worshipers, there was no one else there to do it. So Sister Maureen stepped into the breech.

There was another episode in the can about a priest who was not only gay, but had contracted HIV.

The screeching reached air-raid siren decibels.

The apparently conservative Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights proudly took credit for getting the show cancelled (civil rights? Freedom of expression, freedom of choice, and all that bleeding-heart liberal stuff. . . .)   Some of the most vociferous objections to the show came from Protestant fundamentalists who threatened a boycott of ABC and their advertisers, and through a vigorous letter writing campaign, managed to intimidate companies that regularly bought commercial time during the show to withdraw their sponsorship.

The sort of thing they objected to? In one episode, there's a scene in which a pregnant teen-age parishioner wants to get an abortion and she's trying to get some sort of approval from Father Ray. One person who criticized this particular episode said that Father Ray should have locked her in the church basement (completely ignoring the fact that kidnapping is a Federal crime, and unlawful imprisonment is highly illegal) until she delivered her baby! But instead, Father Ray said, "Look, you know the position the Church takes on this as well as I do. I can't tell you what to do. But let me remind you that, whatever you decide, you're going to have to live with the results of that decision for the rest of your life." Personally, I thought that was pretty good advice.

Many people, both Catholic and Protestant, including priests and ministers, followed the show for as long as it lasted and thought it was THE best television drama series they had ever seen. But they were outnumbered by the Pharisees and Philistines.

Who's running this place, anyway? A sort of self-appointed, self-styled "Christian" Taliban? Among Christians, these people are in a minority, but they are sufficiently loud and well-organized that they manage to scare the pee out of supposedly powerful network and corporate executives. Threaten their pocketbook and they fold up like a cheap tent.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: dianavan
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 04:16 PM

I think this is what Bush means by political capital.

Billy Graham has been gaining strength politically for many years. Anyone who thinks his message is purely Christian should take another look. He makes big money and invests it in very dubious ways. I'd like to see him investigated for unamerican activities.

I am very sorry that all Christians are tarred with the same brush.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 05:03 PM

dwditty; The campaign IS 'congregation selective'. Not the national TV ads, certainly, but participation in the whole campaign. Each congregation has the opportunity to participate fully or in lesser ways or not at all. Haveing said this I realize that the national campaign might well put the ultra liberal "tag" on some more conservative UCC congregations and those might not desire that. There is a sort of "backlash" among some congregations in North Carolina. No, these aren't conservative white congregations, they are conservative black congregations and they have had some other issues with the UCC at large. Hopefully, the spirit of the campaign will help to reconcile those congregations with the UCC as a whole.

Don Firth; I cannot get the local ABC station and was unaware of the program "Nothing Sacred" nor of the controversy surrounding it. I am sorry that the program was cancelled by ABC.

Kat; I forgot to tell them but I will.

We had a lively discussion group this morning. Our pastor, Ed Wilson, began his sermon with: "Hi I'm Ed Wilson and I'm a Christian" and went on to say that stating something like that is almost unheard of these days. He said that before he returned to school he used to introduce himself as "an engineer" (he worked for McDonnel-Douglas) and never thought anything of it. He went on to describe the ad campaign and the networks' response in the context of identifying as a Christian. Good sermon.

I wish to say to all who have posted to this thread, thank you. I feel that your answers, serious and humerous are genuine expressions of your sincere thoughts regarding this matter. It leads me to see that Mudcatters, while sometimes irreverant are not irrelevant.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 10:00 AM

Hi - I've appreciated what EVERYONE has said. One suggestion: can we all contact CBS and NBC and make our views known? E-mail to nbcshows@nbc.com and tell them why this upsets you. CBS also has a feedback e-mail slot on their website. We have to stop talking only to each other, and like the UCC, talk to the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 11:50 AM

Thanks "double guest", for your support.

I haven't considered emailing the networks. I think that the attendant publicity has been mostly helpful and in addition I feel that the Conference's duty is to address the issue. Our national newspaper will arrive soon and probably will have a plan of action of some sort. If not I think I'll do what you suggest.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 03:57 PM

CB, I was going to suggest that your PR folks make other news media (like NPR, newspapers, etc) aware of this refusal, but it sounds like it may not be necessary (or has aready been done). Your latest post sort of makes the point which was occurring to me as I was reading this thread, which is that – if this rejection by major networks receives much in the way of media attention (it sounds like it might be, but I'm in the UK, so don't really know) – UCC will prolly end up with way more publicity and attention drawn to it (and its tolerant/welcoming attitude) than it would ever have received if the networks had simply aired the commercial without any quibbles. The ensuing publicity could well end up providing the kind of massive exposure money cannot buy, so – in a way – it could prove to be a "blessing in disguise", although I share your dismay at the networks' refusal to air the ad.


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Subject: RE: BS: NBC and CBS say UCC ad controversial
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 04:26 AM

Interesting thread. Thanks!

..xx..e


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 5 December 3:43 AM EST

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