Tuesday, April 18, 2006

10 Years Late

This post is 10 years late but this thing bothered me then and I haven't had a chance to express it.

Miami, Florida-April 18th, 1996

I had heard what happened and tried to squeeze a young internet for all the info I could get. All I could find were some grotesque low resolution pictures attached to computer generated wire reports. The only other thing left for me was the limited cable line up on my 12 inch dorm TV.

So I sat there waiting for something, anything, knowing I won't get much from CNN or the networks' evening news. Well, I got absolutely NOTHING. A Blank Screen. CNN did cover the event at length, they showed the gruesome pictures, how could they possibly ignore it? However, the cable provider blacked it out. For 20 minutes during the evening news the screen went blank. Move along, Nothing to see here. Residents of Coral Gables did not hear of Qana. It didn't happen.

I don't know if anyone else noticed the black out but I didn't hear anyone raise a peep about that incident. I forget what the cable company was called back then, but I know it was bought out by AT&T and later turned into Comcast property. I think Arabs exaggerate greatly the "Zionist Conspiracy", but on that day the Israeli propaganda machine censored the news in Coral Gables and sent the First Amendment of the United States of America to Hell.


ghassan said...

I find the story that you relate about the cable Blackout to be vey interesting in more than one sense.

(1) I have never heard this incident mentioned by anyone before. Does this mean that no one in Coral Gables complained? What is the extent of the area serviced by the cable firm in question?

(2)Cable has always presented a challenge to the First Amendment. Cable operators do not use the public airwaves and thus are free to carry or not carry whatever they want. The logic being that if you do not like the service then you can unsubscribe. There is a weakness in this logic because cable operators often are monopoliesin their respective areas.

(3) I am astonished that none of the four networks in addition to CNN had provisions in their contract with this cable operator that would have prevented capricious editing.

(4) The freedom of the cable operator; misapplied in this case; is what makes frank unedited language possible. The Supremes have no right to censor George Carlin on cable!!!

أمل said...


Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Peace to their souls.

Another possibility is that no one gives a shit about Lebanon outside of Lebanon - at least, not until we were up again on the US agenda.