What other shows would they air?
October 11, 2007
What if Michael Devlin, who just admitted to kidnapping and sexually molesting two young boys, wanted GrassRoots TV to air a film he made stating that raping them was good for their psychological development, would GrassRoots TV broadcast it? Since it is well-documented and widely known by all in the mental health field, and the public in general, that the opposite is true, the children would be harmed.
If bin Laden made a film attempting to prove that the Pope had Bishops from his church pretend to be Muslims and fly planes into the World Trade Center so the U.S. would fight the growth of the Muslim religion, would GrassRoots TV show it, or is there enough documentation and proof that the claim is ridiculous?
If someone makes a film to deny that the Holocaust even occurred will GrassRoots show it even if the documentation is beyond reproach? Anyone can review the Nuremberg trial transcripts, see the film of the trial, see historical footage of the death camps and speak to American soldiers and Holocaust survivors, still alive today, who witnessed the Holocaust. This is NOT a free speech issue. The Times editorial on Wednesday, Oct. 10 (“Our vote for free speech”). totally misses the point that showing the film is about free speech. The makers of the film can get on a soapbox in Wagner Park and deny the Holocaust all they want. They can rent a hall and show the film to anyone. I personally will defend their right to speak about this lie and show their movie.
The issue here is whether a public institution should promote a lie, should allow an event that is well documented and known to be a lie by any reasonable person. Not just promote any lie but one that has an evil or sinister intent. This newspaper does not have to print letters it deems inappropriate. If the filmmaker who wants GrassRoots to air his film took it to CBS or NBC, they have the right to not air it. GrassRoots TV has the right to make rules about the content of it broadcasts even if it is a public organization.
If GrassRoots TV decides to air every film that comes down the pike that flies in the face of truth and has sinister intent it will have a busy schedule for the next few years. We may see films about who really flew into the World Trade Center and sodomizing children for their own good. GrassRoots TV has to draw a line somewhere. I hope they make a moral choice that is good for the community.
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I also hope that people understand that free speech is not undermined just because an organization decides not to promote every group’s marketing material that wants to revise history to fulfill their own agenda.