Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Censorship 101: How to Muzzle Opposition and Keep Your Viewers in the Dark

Reported by Marie Therese - May 30, 2007 -

After watching FOX News for three years, I've decided that David Asman is not a nice person. Perpetually overwrought, with a fake sunny disposition, he will do whatever his corporate bosses tell him to do, then turn around and wrap himself in the flag or the bible, whichever will net him the most brownie points in the FOX News boardroom. Yesterday he substituted for Neil Cavuto. During a discussion of the value of tenure in America's universities, Asman engaged in a systematic, premeditated act of censorship using interruption, favoritism and misdirection. It was obvious to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear that Asman was under orders not to let Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill complete a sentence or make a cogent point. Yet, Asman fell all over himself to allow Joe McCarthy clone, David Horowtiz, to spew his anti-tenure swill. With video.

On Friday, January 28, 2005 Bill O'Reilly painted a verbal target on the back of University of Colorado Ethnic Studies Professor Ward Churchill, vowing to bring him down for remarks he wrote online in 2001. Since that time in a systematic, deliberate way O'Reilly and FOX News have decided that Ward Churchill does not deserve to teach and have set out to destroy him. I personally believe this is because anti-academic elements within the right-wing movement thought at the time that this would be an easy case to use to test the concept of "tenure" in federal court. If that was the original intent, it backfired mightily.

Thankfully, Professor Churchill has an excellent first amendment attorney named David Lane who has appeared on FOX News a number of times. Lane has proven a feisty guest and in a recent appearance on FOX News indicated that he can't wait to get this free speech case into federal court.

During yesterday's Your World show, David Horowitz - a small-minded man whose FrontPage Magazine belches out a large toxic dose of anti-education drivel - was able to speak far longer and without interruption that Professor Hill.

Here's the chronology of the segment, documented proof that David Asman acted in a blatantly unfair manner towards Marc Hill. The fact that Professor Hill is an African-American was just icing on the cake to Asman, who is, in my opinion, a rude, overbearing clod who gets his jollies preventing FOX viewers from hearing any truth other than the one Roger Ailes and John Moody want them to hear. As we News Hounds have pointed out before, there are threads of racism (hidden and overt) woven throughout the entire FOX News broadcasting day. Asman showed the uppity Marc Lamont Hill who was really in charge.

(The time stamp notations below are from my video clip. They begin 1 minute and 38 seconds into the segment. The Hill-Horowitz interview started after a "news alert" from Boulder, Colorado by Carol McKinley that ended at 1:38.)

1:38 to 2:06 (28 sec.) - David Asman opened the segment by saying "Well, my next guest says this case is proof that tenure doesn't work. He says it's costing millions to get rid of a guy who should have been fired the day he made those awful comments." Asman plugged Horowitz's latest book, then introduced Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, an erudite, well-spoken man who has appeared a number of times on FOX News. Hill has a quick mind and a remarkable ability to get his message across rapidly in a few sentences. Because of this skill, the FOX hosts generally make sure that he is shouted down, talked over or interrupted so their viewers will not get the gist of what Hill is saying. Yesterday's segment, however, was one of the worst I've ever seen.

2:06 to 2:42 (36 sec.) - David Horowitz first denied that he said that Churchill should have been fired because of his remarks. "He should never have been hired" in the first place, Horowitz claimed, because he didn't have the proper credentials. (Ward Churchill earned both a B. A. and an M. A. in Communication from Sangamon State University, now called the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is a fully tenured professor, who was extremely popular with his students prior to being put on administrative leave by the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has authored many papers, over twenty books and has lectured extensively on the history of the American Indian in America.)

2:42 to 2:48 (6 secs) - Asman cut off Horowitz. Asked Marc Hill if the person who hired Ward Churchill should be fired.

2:48 to 2:55 (7 secs) - Professor Hill tried to explain that Ethnic Studies, Churchill's specialty, is an interdisciplinary field and very few people have degrees in Ethnic Studies per se.

2:55 to 3:01 (6 secs) - Asman interrupted Hill to redirect conversation away from what he was saying and back to what he was obviously under orders to do, i.e. claim that Churchill "falsified" his credentials.

3:01 - 3:15 (14 secs) - Marc Hill denied that Churchill falsified his credentials, made a reasoned analysis of what the situation actually was and suggested that Churchill should receive "some type of punishment" for academic sloppiness.

3:14 - 3:35 (21 secs) - Asman shut him down again, saying "Hold it right there. Why shouldn't he lose his job?" then, reading from his notes, said "He was convicted of several ..." then realized that Churchill hasn't been convicted of anything yet.

3:35 - 3:48 (13 secs) - Hill countered by noting that the entire situation is "not quite that simple." He began to explain his position that Churchill did "sloppy work" in a couple of instances, did some ghost writing, "things that are unconventional and unacceptable" All the while, Asman was making dismissive noises in the background, a lead up to once again interrupting Hill.

3:48 to 3:57 (9 secs) - Asman interrupted Hill yet again, turning to ask Horowitz "What about the subject of tenure itself? Isn't this proof that tenure is crippling America's University system?"

3:57 - 4:17 (20 secs) - Horowitz proceeded to insult Marc Hill by claiming that Hill himself was a perfect example of how the professors all stick together on this issue of tenure. "You can't get professors to stand up for academic standards," Horowitz said.

Notice what Horowitz has done here. He's associated the word "tenure" with a lack of "academic standards." That's called negative branding in marketing circles and if there's one thing I've learned the right-wingers are masters of marketing manipulation techniques!

When Horowitz lied and said that Churchill was just a painter and had no credentials, Hill said in the background "That's not true." But when did the truth ever stop Horowitz? He actually argued that it was "absolutely true."

4:17 to 4:20 (3 secs) - Crosstalk.

4:20 to 4:32 (12 secs) - An exasperated David Asman stopped both guests, saying "I don't want to get off on this detail - we've been doin' it all day on FOX."

Well, finally!! A confession. David Asman doesn't like "detail." Aw, poor baby. He must have had a hard time in college remembering all those names, dates, times, places, formula, etc. My heart just bleeds for him.

4:32 to 4:37 (5 secs) - Marc Hill was finally allowed to rebut Horowitz. He started off by noting that "tenure helps us to uphold academic standards." Oops! That's as far as he got! Asman interrupted him yet again!

4:37 to 4:38 (1 sec) - Asman proclaimed loudly "It hasn't worked in this case!"

4:48 to 4:52 (4 secs) - Hill managed to make one point, i.e. that even if Churchill himself got fired, that one case is not reason enough to overturn tenure. He was interrupted by David Horowitz as FOX News went from the triple to a double split screen.

4:52 to 5:02 (10 secs)) - Horowitz once again insulted Professor Hill by saying "Let me repeat what I said. Professors, like this professor, will not stand up for academic standards."

5:02 to 5:03 (1 sec) - Hill responded forcefully stating that this was not true.

5:03 to 5:50 (47 secs) - Horowitz then insulted Hill again. "No, you - in your classroom you can probably interv - you know - interrupt students all the time, you know, beat - show a little respect." Marc Hill's facial expression in the split screen showed that he was quite angered by this. When he tried to respond, David Asman, not surprisingly, came to the rescue of Horowitz, saying "Go ahead, David. Go ahead. Go ahead." Horowitz then made the absolutely ridiculous accusation that the panels that recommended that Churchill be fired were liberal, left wing sympathizers.

5:50 to 6:01 (11 secs) - Asman then asked Hill why he thought Churchill shouldn't be fired.

6:01 to 6:16 (15 secs) - Hill refused to take the bait and made a statement about the larger issue of tenure, stating that "tenure is as central to the academic enterprise as free speech is to American democracy."

6:15 to 6:21 (6 secs) - Asman ended the segment. Thanked his guests.

Final time tally:

ASMAN - 100 seconds

HOROWITZ - 113 seconds

HILL - 59 seconds

Fair and balanced? What a joke!