In Egypt a Dictator Censors Politics; In the US a Corporation Censors … Football

To be fair, it was not a highly lucrative football game CBS censored. Rather, it was an ad put out by the players’ union opposing the lockout the owners are threatening. I guess anything from a labor union — even a labor union representing a bunch of highly paid celebrities — may count as taboo politics to a big corporation.

Moreover, CBS and other football networks have basically agreed to pay the league billions whether or not a single game is played; the networks are basically paying the owners to break the union.

CBS is one of four networks that pay the NFL $4 billion a year to televise the league’s games. CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN, as well as DirecTV, all agreed to pay the NFL in 2011 even if a lockout disrupts or cancels the season — a relationship that the NFLPA finds a little too cozy. In fact, the union filed suit against the league claiming the TV deals provide the owners with guaranteed payment even when no games are played, effectively purchasing “lockout insurance.”

A ruling could come as soon as this week. Mr. Atallah said CBS’s decision to pull the ad “is clearly indicative of the relationships the networks have with the league.”

Either they’re just so afraid of losing the contract or they’re willing to forgo a season for two extra games pitting badly injured players trying to stay in the game.

But whatever it is, it’s censorship. And at a time when our government is lecturing dictators in other countries about censorship, you’d think they’d be a bit bothered by corporations using our own public airwaves.

For more on this labor fight, see Lockout Central.

  1. kbskiff says:


    You know the corporatist assholes think they have the game won when they go after unions made up of millionaires.

    I wonder if the events in Egypt even give them pause?

  2. PeasantParty says:

    I laughed my ass off when Hiliary was preaching at the Egyptians telling them they should show restraint and work together to form a representative government.

    Raw Hipocracy, I tell ya. RAW! It burns it is so raw.

  3. PeasantParty says:


    Got anything new on Lamo? Will he be testifying against Manning in the Military courts and Civil, or neither? I’m still trying to figure out why he is allowed to walk around and see daylight.

  4. newz4all says:

    FBI involved in hundreds of violations in national security investigations

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation sued to get the information but says officials won’t give details or say whether anyone was disciplined.

    The FBI disclosed to a presidential board that it was involved in nearly 800 violations of laws, regulations or policies governing national security investigations from 2001 to 2008, but the government won’t provide details or say whether anyone was disciplined, according to a report by a privacy watchdog group.,0,6047844.story

  5. qweryous says:

    Off topic. An interesting story at Talk To Action

    Rise of the Church-Court – “Fugitive Safe Surrender”, Revisited by Bruce Wilson. It begins with:

    “[note: update at end of this story] Back in 2006, about a year after Talk To Action was launched, I received a curious news item from Chris Rodda, now head researcher for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. It was an article from New Jersey Lawyer which described “a rather extraordinary exchange between Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz and U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie…. The U.S. attorney requested — seemingly demanded — that the state judges, in effect, set up court in churches for the purpose of arraigning fugitives. “…

    Multiple links and stories on this at the first link.

    In the first report on this-(also at Talk To Action)- Return Of Church Courts: an “Extraordinary Exchange” by Bruce Wilson May 1 2007 the editorial from New Jersey Lawyer which described the exchange Between Chris Christie and Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz (originally published September 25, 2006) is reprinted in full.

  6. normanb says:

    The football players and the cities should leave the league: Every team will make huge profits if the owners are cut out of the money pie. A new NFL forms, the Non-Fascist League, where all proceeds go to the team and the city.

    First two rules for Non-Fascist League:
    1. No union breaking;
    2. No illegal and unconstitutional drug tests.

    • OldFatGuy says:

      Pretty sure the current NFL doesn’t conduct any illegal or unconstitutional drug tests so not sure why that would distinguish the non fascist league from the National Football League.

  7. perris says:

    it seems to me there should be some anti-trust laws being violated

    the teams have strengthened their hand against the players association, they now do not fear lost revenue of their lock out and they can do it with impunity

    this is a conspiracy designed to elimante their competition

  8. nahant says:

    Another GIFT that KEEPS on Giving!! Thank you St Ronnie, you
    Union busting asshole, I hope you are burning in HELL for all you did to our Country…

    • onitgoes says:

      True, but… the citizenry LOVES it, goes along with it, endorses it, votes for it, etc etc… I loathe Reagan beyond all measure, but at this point, it’s down to the “small people” who willing roll over and take it and then beg to be screwed by the Oligarchs some more… just saying.

  9. Broadstreetbuddy says:

    While I love football and dont want anything to happen to next season, CBS does have full control over its operations. If they dont want air something they dont have to even though its unfair. I also dont want there to be an 18 game regular season but i dont think thats possible anymore.

    • OldFatGuy says:

      If they dont want air something they dont have to even though its unfair


      So in next year’s election CBS can decide they’ll air only Republican commercials, and that’s OK?

      All of the networks broadcast over OUR AIRWAVES. We have every right to demand that they not discriminate against advertisers IMO.

      • Broadstreetbuddy says:

        If a corporation has finite number of commercials to run and more offers for commercials than spots, then yeah they can pick and choose which ones to run on TV. I want to see more less ads for viagra and cialis but the american public doesnt get to choose which ads stations run.

        • OldFatGuy says:

          I just read that again and still can’t believe I read it.


          Just wow.

          If that’s what most Americans think, then America gets what it deserves.


          If the corporations that own the television stations want to only run Republican ads and not Democratic ads that’s ok.


          Wonder how long it would be before we saw only Coke commericals and no Pepsi commercials. Pretty sure Coke would be willing to pay “fee” to ensure that those corporations “choose” not air Pepsi ads.

          Yeah, let’s play that out. Why years from now we won’t have to worry about ANY competition. The free market will have worked out the most successful company in each industry and they will have monopolized the ad market to ensure no start up competition.

          Sounds more like something I would read at a right wing or libertarian blog than a progressive one.


  10. dakine01 says:

    The Socialist billionaire owners, many of whom have teams playing in publicly financed or owned stadiums whining about about the costs of labor in a chew ’em up and spit ’em out sport while trying to increase the number of games played in an increasingly dangerous sport while pretending they care about the plight of retired players.

    How many things are wrong with this picture?

    • Margaret says:

      Unless CBS just thinks they’re pieces of meat, of course.

      That’s exactly what CBS thinks. I guess in this country, even millionaire labor is just meat.

  11. Cujo359 says:

    Either they’re just so afraid of losing the contract or they’re willing to forgo a season for two extra games pitting badly injured players trying to stay in the game.

    The season’s long enough already. If they add two regular season games, they’ll be starting in the middle of baseball season – mid August. In most parts of the country, there’s a whale of a difference between playing a game like this in summer versus playing it in winter. Either that, or the season will stretch until mid-February, which is the dead of winter in much of America.

    I guess all those big cities will just have to pony up the bucks to put roofs on their stadiums. Heck, they don’t have anything else to spend their money on now, do they?

  12. workingclass says:

    The corporate media (television) are the domestic propaganda arm of the Fascist American Empire. The empire will crush a union at any and every opportunity. Money is no object.

  13. jjjj says:

    At the coin toss, where they have the respective team captains “call it” the team captains should grab the microphone and demand that the NFL commissioner “come on down” and play a real game of “The Price is Right”.

    If the commish won’t play at that time, then NO GAME!

    Players walk off the field.

    The entire NFL/MSM/NCAA cripple factory would end right there.

    And there would be riots in Dallas and Las Vegas.

    Then the colleges can stop wasting money on their steroid mills and put some real money into education.