The taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting Service has censored conservative San Francisco radio talk host Melanie Morgan, and banned her from future appearances, after she stood up to and refused to be bullied by a liberal male guest on the News Hour show earlier this month.
PBS claims that Morgan was banned due to viewer complaints that she was "rude" to her opponent on the segment, because she interrupted him four times. But a review of the transcript shows that interruptions were a two-way street, as they are on many such formats, and that her opponent interrupted Ms. Morgan an equal number of times without rebuke or penalty.
In the fantasy world of equality for the sexes, supposedly a bastion of left-leaning outlets such as PBS, the diminutive Ms. Morgan's refusal to be cowed by a larger and presumably stronger male guest would have been seen as a triumph for feminism. But if there were any lingering doubts about the moral bankruptcy of the feminist movement, and the left in general, after its tepid reaction to the myriad sexual abuse scandals during the Clinton administration, the decision to to ban Ms. Morgan is obviously the final nail in liberal feminism's coffin.
The scenario that led to Ms. Morgan's censorship was a debate on News Hour between her and Jon Soltz, co-founder and chair of VoteVets.org, an organization that supports withdrawing from Iraq.
Soltz served as an Army captain in Iraq for about four months in 2003, and says he speaks for veterans of the War on Terror. Soltz said that his organization "is the leading political organization in America of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. And not only do we represent thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, but we represent over 40,000 veterans and support our veterans across the nation.
And we're working as part of a much larger coalition, Americans against Escalation in Iraq, which represents many, you know, base organizations, the Center for American Progress, MoveOn.org, and so forth."
Since approximately 1.4 million servicemen and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since the terrorist attacks of 9-11 it is apparent that even including veterans from other eras, Soltz's power base amounts to less than 4 percent of all who have served in the War on Terror.
By contrast, Ms. Morgan chairs Move America Forward, which represents "over a million people who belong to our organization, which is the largest pro-American, pro-troop organization in the United States. And we are a group that speaks loudly for the military families, Gold Star family members who still support the war, who still support the president, and our efforts to stabilize Iraq, and the global war on terror ..."
But numbers aren't the issue here. The issue is that Ms. Morgan gave as good as she got on the show, stood her ground, refused to be bullied and as a result has been censored. Apparently conservative women are welcome on the News Hour only when they are demure, keep their eyes downcast, their voices barely above a whisper, their hands folded in their laps with a lace hanky handy to dab their eyes when they are suitably chastened, and adhere to the approved propaganda line instead of having a mind of their own.
When a man speaks she is supposed to be quiet, when a man disagrees with her she is supposed to immediately recognize the error of her ways, and above all she is never, ever, to disagree or be reproachful to any man, any time, but especially in public.
Shame on Melanie Morgan. Considering that she grew up in a very liberal family, and has spent her entire career in journalism and broadcasting, I bet she actually believed the leftist ideologues who said she could aspire to the American Dream with every bit as much fervor as her male counterparts. I bet she believed in the dictates of feminism as espoused by left-wing role models.
Really, she should have known better. (You, dear reader, do get the sarcasm and irony dripping from the previous paragraph, right?)
The arguments that were presented on PBS the night the lights went out on feminism are pretty well known to those who follow the American political scene. Soltz wants the US out of Iraq, has no use for George Bush, and supports withdrawal ala John Murtha, a former Marine Vietnam War hero whose derring-do and courageous battlefield exploits have made him the leading expert in Congress on the War on Terror. (Yes, more sarcasm.)
Ms. Morgan supports the Surge, the ongoing offensive in Iraq, and wants us to leave when we are victorious. I should point out, however, that on her morning radio show on KSFO in San Francisco, which can be heard on the Internet as well as on Bay Area radios, she and co-host Lee Rodgers have been highly critical of President George Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, not to mention his stance on immigration.
As the co-author with Catherine Moy of the acclaimed book American Mourning: The Intimate Story of Two Families Joined by War, Torn by Beliefs she is more than a little familiar with the issues surrounding the war in Iraq and its impact on America. As a featured speaker and highly visible backer of the Gathering of Eagles in Washington, D.C., on March 17, who has donated her services and even her own money on occasion to support worthy veterans' causes, Morgan comes to the table with considerable credentials.
Yet, when she stands up for her beliefs on the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting Service she is immediately slapped down, told to mind her place, which apparently is several steps behind any man who holds differing opinions, and banned from future appearances.
What are they saying? Apparently a young man with obvious political aspirations on the left side of town can portray himself as speaking on behalf of veterans, and that is acceptable to PBS.
But a woman who speaks for an organization with a documented million-plus supporters is not allowed to disagree with the aforementioned young man without being banned from the taxpayer supported public airwaves.
Hello censorship, pleased to meet you propaganda, goodbye feminism. Considering the way Morgan was treated we should probably be thankful the powers-that-be at PBS merely said she was disrespectful instead of calling her a bitch. I mean, that is the left-side code word for a woman who has strong opinions, and has the temerity to challenge a male, right?
I read the transcript of the exchange on PBS and the one thing I did not see was anything remotely resembling disrespect or disinformation coming from Morgan. What I saw was a woman who has opinions diametrically opposed to those of the featured guest, that being a male who served in the armed forces, and the confidence to meet said male veteran head on, issue by issue, with no backing down and no waffling.
Well, we certainly can't have that now can we?
Ms. Morgan said on the Hannity and Colmes show Monday night, May 21, that she wants a public apology from the show's producer. Morgan said she had several phone conversations with the producer prior to the show and was told that it was going to be a no-holds-barred, gloves off confrontation and to come prepared. So she did.
An apology may be enough for Melanie Morgan. But the public that pays the salaries of the propagandists on the News Hour and other PBS shows deserves far more.
It is time for Congress to stop the merry-go-round hearings displaying Democrats' dislike for our first Hispanic Attorney General and let Alberto Gonzales get back to doing his job. My first suggestion would be a full-scale investigation of PBS funding and expenditures to determine whether any improprieties exist.
That should be joined by a FCC investigation into whether taxpayer's were deceived into supporting a political propaganda outlet when they thought it was a non-political source of information.
And besides the apology that Ms. Morgan is due, the producer of the show should be fired.
I have said in this space on other occasions that I realize I may not be able to change the world, but I can tend to business in my own back yard. So, while the fat cats and power brokers at PBS may not care about my opinion, I can have an impact in my area.
I have supported PBS programs in the past, but as of now, any future support I may have considered for Connecticut Public Television, which carries the News Hour, will be diverted elsewhere. And it will stay diverted until the News Hour producer is sent packing.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007