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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Liberals plot to ‘Turn off Fox News’ in public places

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Author Topic: Liberals plot to ‘Turn off Fox News’ in public places
JWatts
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quote:

Now you can join a activist group determined to remove Fox news from ever being broadcast in public. ‘Turn off Fox’

Here is their credo:

Some businesses play Fox without having thought about it at all, and may not know how divisive and dangerous Fox is. Turn Off Fox will help you work with others in your area (and across the country) to identify places that play Fox, ask them to change the channel, and explain why they should.

Link

If you can't beat them, censor them.

From the website:
quote:
Fox’s race-baiting and fear-mongering is more than just deceptive and offensive — it’s bad for the country, it’s dangerous, and it can result in violence.
If we want a political culture rooted in factual information and free from violence and racial animosity, now is the time to stand up against Fox.

TurnOffFox

Obviously, liberal groups don't like Fox and they are free to say so, but actively organizing to remove their broadcasts from public places is across the line.

If no one is watching the channel in a public place it will be quickly changed and absent any requests will not show back up. So by default they are targeting locations where at least some of the patrons watch Fox News. Clearly there is a large demand for Fox News and this group would like to actively prevent others from seeing something they personally don't like.

[ August 26, 2010, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Obviously, liberal groups don't like Fox and they are free to say so, but actively organizing to remove their broadcasts from public places is across the line.

Conservative groups should do the same, targeting MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. I'm sure these efforts will be fully supported by the left. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Clearly there is a large demand for Fox News ...

It's the #1 cable news channel. Something like 8 of the top 10 most watched news shows are on FOX News.

[ August 26, 2010, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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drewmie
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I see nothing wrong with this. It's as American as it gets. If people find any channel abhorrent, - whether Fox News, MSNBC, MTV, Comedy Central, or PBS — they should ask for the channel to be changed, and they should feel free to stop giving money to places that keep playing it.

This isn't "censorship" in any way. That word is so overused and politicized, it has lost much of its power.

[ August 26, 2010, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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OpsanusTau
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I sometimes ask for a TV to be turned off if it looks like nobody is really watching it, because it bothers me. Is that "censorship" too?
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cherrypoptart
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I'm looking at the dictionary defintion of censor and this fits it pretty well.

It's one thing if you don't want to watch it and then asking for it to be turned off. This is going beyong that and asking that it be turned off because you don't even want other people to watch it. That's crossing the line into censorship.

Just because it's not the government doing it doesn't mean it can't still be censorship.

It's one thing to argue whether or not this is censorship. It's another beast altogether to debate what types of censorship are good or bad.

My guess is going to be that most of the people who want to debate whether or not this is censorship are going to be thinking somewhere in the back of their mind that even it is, it's the good type so it's cool.

--------------------------------------

cen·sor   /ˈsɛnsər/ Show Spelled[sen-ser] Show IPA
–noun
1. an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.
2. any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.
3. an adverse critic; faultfinder.
4. (in the ancient Roman republic) either of two officials who kept the register or census of the citizens, awarded public contracts, and supervised manners and morals.
5. (in early Freudian dream theory) the force that represses ideas, impulses, and feelings, and prevents them from entering consciousness in their original, undisguised forms.

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Omega M.
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Well, their PDF at the bottom of the article says they're just trying to get the facts about Fox News out to businesses who might not have thought about the station their TVs are on. (I'm not commenting on whether the facts they're giving are true.)
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drewmie
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cherrypoptart, you're right that it doesn't have to be the government. But this is nowhere near censorship, which in the real world means there is some kind of imposition involved. As long as an owner has the right to tell the customer "no" without fear of reprisal (beyond bad feelings and lost business), it's not censorship.

Do you really think customers shouldn't express their preferences to businesses? And that doing so is censorship just because it would affect all customers? Is it censorship to write to Denny's and ask them to use less mayo on their sandwiches?

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by drewmie:
Is it censorship to write to Denny's and ask them to use less mayo on their sandwiches?

Huh? No it's not censorship to ask for less mayo, but we were referring to an attempt to get Fox News systematically Turned Off in public places.

It's perfectly ok to ask a store owner to turn the channel (or even to turn the TV off) while you are present. It's entirely another issue to try and get a station banned from use.

Particularly when you use loaded phrases like:
1) race-baiting and fear-mongering
2) stoke fear and hate
3) poison our political conversations
4) deceptive propaganda that plays on fear and paranoia, spreads confusion and falsehoods etc.

I'm wondering if this group will sponsor any Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter book burnings next? After all, there's nothing wrong with burning books you rightfully purchased, eh?

[ August 26, 2010, 07:01 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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cherrypoptart
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This was the same argument used by those against Dr. Laura.

They didn't just want themselves not to have to listen to her. If that's all they wanted, they could have just turned the dial. Instead they wanted other people who wanted to listen to her not to be able to do so.

I'd put it this way.

We have the 1st Amendment Right to request that others be censored.

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MattP
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The marketplace of ideas includes the idea that some other ideas should not be promoted. Asking a business, as a customer, to not display material that you consider harmful is a perfectly reasonable activity, regardless of what the content consists of. Other customers may choose to disagree with your position and/or to take their business elsewhere. I don't see anything nefarious going on here.

As long as the government isn't involved and no inappropriate motivators are applied (i.e. those not normally associated with business transactions, such as violence or threats thereof) then we're just talking about a dialog between businesses and their customers.

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cherrypoptart
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I agree that it could be good or it could be bad and it all depends on a variety of different things, but whether it's good or bad it's still censorship.

I know a lot of people don't want to think of themselves as censors, but they should just butch up and admit it. Some censorship is good, especially, apparently, when it's not the government doing it.

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MattP
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quote:
whether it's good or bad it's still censorship
Perhaps, but that term has connotations of inappropriate coercion which I don't think apply in this situation. This campaign seems to be focused on action through education. (regardless of how you feel about the validity of their position) Certainly even an implicit threat of refusing to do business is coercive, but we generally consider "voting with your wallet" to be an appropriate form of coercion. In the OP, it seemed like this negative connotation is what was being emphasized:

quote:
If you can't beat them, censor them.
I'd suggest that convincing another person that the message is harmful and therefore reducing its audience and impact *is* beating them.
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Rallan
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Alternative headlines:

Conservative Bloggers Plot to "Get Butthurt By Non-Event" To Bolster Persecution Complex

Handful Of Conservatives Respond To Handful Of Whiny Prissy Liberals By Being Whinier, Prissier

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
Alternative headlines:

Conservative Bloggers Plot to "Get Butthurt By Non-Event" To Bolster Persecution Complex

Handful Of Conservatives Respond To Handful Of Whiny Prissy Liberals By Being Whinier, Prissier

Troll much.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
I know a lot of people don't want to think of themselves as censors, but they should just butch up and admit it. Some censorship is good, especially, apparently, when it's not the government doing it.

DINUINM
Definition Is Not Use Is Not Meaning

The dictionary definition of a word contains all possible uses and meanings of a word that the editors thought it worth preserving. Waxing pedantic on the fact that a particular meaning does in fact exist without regard to general connotation, never mind specific context, only serves as disingenuity.

Heck, when a person intentionally choses not to talk about a certain thing, it can be called self-censorship. That doesn't change the fact that in common usage, "censorship" refers specifically to state suppression of information, and that is the specific kind that is held as a fundamental violation of rights.

If a bunch of people want to get together to buy and burn a bunch of Beck's books, I'd consider them idiots- both for making such a counterproductive statement and for doing it in a way that only serves to profit the guy they're trying to protest. But they'd be fully within their rights to do so.

(The only edge case where I'd support intervention is if (almost impossible in this day and age) they were about to destroy the last copy of any given work of note. At that point, I'd say that there was arguably a clear public interest to be served if the state interceded to preserve the content, no matter how objectionable.)

Free speech says that the Government can't force Fox to go off the air or to say anything against its well. But it doesn't force anyone to listen to Fox, and it protects their right to ask for it to be turned off if they dislike it. You can call it a kind of censorship, if you'd like, but trying to play on a hot button word out of the context of its disagreeable meaning doesn't somehow change the nature of what it is to be the same as the problematic meaning.

What this really is is a sort of soft boycott to raise awareness of a particular point of view. That falls within protected speech and is a reasonable tool to apply in a market economy to boot.

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JWatts
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Merriam-Webster-
Definition of CENSOR
: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable <censor the news>;

So this group is trying to apply public pressure to censor the news they object to.

This easily fits under the definition of censorship.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
t's perfectly ok to ask a store owner to turn the channel (or even to turn the TV off) while you are present. It's entirely another issue to try and get a station banned from use.
Speaking of loaded phrases. You just stepped in one yourself by suggesting that anyone is talking about banning. No one is talking about legal block of Fox, not even a boycott of places that don't change their channel.

quote:
If no one is watching the channel in a public place it will be quickly changed and absent any requests will not show back up.
If no one is actively watching a publicly facing television and no one asks for it to be changes, inertia will leave it on the same channel until someone actually does start watching it and decides to act to change the channel. Why would anyone bother to change it unless presented with a request or personal desire to actually do so? And most people won't even bother to ask because they usually assume that the owner/controller of the television has a personal preference as to what channel its on.

The real truth here is that, in most places that feature a TV, the staff has learned to tune it out so it doesn't distract them from their duties, and simply assume that anyone who wants to distract themselves by watching it will do so without regard to what's actually on.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Particularly when you use loaded phrases like:
1) race-baiting and fear-mongering
2) stoke fear and hate
3) poison our political conversations
4) deceptive propaganda that plays on fear and paranoia, spreads confusion and falsehoods etc.

I don't believe that accusation 3 is accurate, because I don't believe that political conversations are "poisoned" by 1, 2, or 4. But I believe there is clear evidence that Fox News has - in some of their programming - committed actions that are accurately described by items 1, 2, and 4.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Merriam-Webster-
Definition of CENSOR
: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable <censor the news>;

So this group is trying to apply public pressure to censor the news they object to.

This easily fits under the definition of censorship.

A definition, yes. But not the specific meaning, that is referenced through normal usage of the word. Again, DINUINM.

Trying to conflate to different definitions is disingenuous.

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TomDavidson
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I actually carry one of those wide-band TV-B-Gone devices that can basically turn off any public television by sending a gazillion off codes at once. While I don't always use it -- like, for example, when I'm at a sports bar or someplace where TVs are an expected part of the scenery -- I have no problem with simply flicking a TV off at, say, a barbecue joint or family restaurant. If someone wants it on, they can always ask the staff to turn it back on -- but in six years of turning TVs off, I've never had one turned back on while I was there. It frankly annoys me that "on" is treated as their default state, as if we can't dine without some visual distraction.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It frankly annoys me that "on" is treated as their default state, as if we can't dine without some visual distraction.

I don't mind the TV's being on, but I don't understand why the default for TV's in public places isn't Closed Caption On and muted.

Instead, you end up with a TV that you both can't hear if you want to and is loud and raises the background noise when you are trying to talk.

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Viking_Longship
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Yeah I think this one's going to work as well as the informative videos they showed us on the evils of Rock and Roll in Sunday school.
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
Alternative headlines:

Conservative Bloggers Plot to "Get Butthurt By Non-Event" To Bolster Persecution Complex

Handful Of Conservatives Respond To Handful Of Whiny Prissy Liberals By Being Whinier, Prissier

Troll much.
Deserved troll. This is a tempest in a teacup, caused by a handful of conservative bloggers getting their panties in a twist about a handful of liberals who've got their panties in a twist about Fox News. It's just an exercise in looking for excuses to feel morally outraged about nothing.

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's already escalated to the next stage, with liberal bloggers getting their panties in a twist about how those terrible neanderthal conservative bloggers are being showing their true colours and being terribly mean.

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edgmatt
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I think that's an accurate analysis of things.

Why do so many adults act like a bunch of pre-teen brats? I can almost hear "Well they started it." and see the arms crossed on the chest.

Tempest in a teacup is right. Get over it all ready. [Roll Eyes]

That's not directed at anyone here, just at the complaining at every little thing in the general public.

-edited to add that last part-

[ August 27, 2010, 08:26 AM: Message edited by: edgmatt ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
Deserved troll. This is a tempest in a teacup, caused by a handful of conservative bloggers getting their panties in a twist about a handful of liberals who've got their panties in a twist about Fox News. It's just an exercise in looking for excuses to feel morally outraged about nothing.

No, trolling and blatant name calling is never deserved and generally the sign of a lazy poster.

This reply actually has substance to it and some merit and I'll address it as such.

You are right that this is a minor issue, but it's important to point out when one side or the other is doing something wrong. Just because it's a minor issue and has no chance of any success doesn't mean it doesn't deserve some public chiding.

[ August 27, 2010, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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hobsen
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FOX News probably arouses too many inappropriate passions to be used simply as a background for commerce, and customers should ask to have something more appropriate substituted. Just the same, such attempted campaigns have succeeded only when the organized group sponsoring them has had millions of members. This one should be soon forgotten.
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
Deserved troll. This is a tempest in a teacup, caused by a handful of conservative bloggers getting their panties in a twist about a handful of liberals who've got their panties in a twist about Fox News. It's just an exercise in looking for excuses to feel morally outraged about nothing.

No, trolling and blatant name calling is never deserved and generally the sign of a lazy poster.

This reply actually has substance to it and some merit and I'll address it as such.

You are right that this is a minor issue, but it's important to point out when one side or the other is doing something wrong. Just because it's a minor issue and has no chance of any success doesn't mean it doesn't deserve some public chiding.

The only thing either side is doing wrong is overreacting. Some lefties on the internet think Fox News is corrupting their precious bodily fluids, so they've decided to launch some campaign nobody cares about to ask business owners in their neighbourhoods to change the channel. Some conservatives on the internet think that this campaign is some dastardly liberal attack on free speech that'll corrupt their precious bodily fluids, and they're talking about it on the internet.
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Pete at Home
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TedK might say that if lefties were not so hyper-socialized, they might instinctively ask to turn the channel in places they go for entertainment, without having a massive campaign telling them to tell others to change the channel.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
TedK might say that if lefties were not so hyper-socialized, they might instinctively ask to turn the channel in places they go for entertainment, without having a massive campaign telling them to tell others to change the channel.

[Exploding]

Pete, you left out the TedK signature icon, so I added it for you. [Wink]

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Jordan
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Personally, this is just another dull exercise in recursive panty-twisting, and RA's troll-lines are the best thing to have come of it.

That, and I now know about "TV-B-Gone" gizmos. A world of malicious fun awaits! Moah-ha ha!!

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