New York's Cablevision Bans American Flag : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001 12:41 p.m. EDT New York's Cablevision Bans American Flag

While most Americans can't get enough of Old Glory in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon - and major cable news providers like Fox News and CNN display a graphic of the flag 24 hours a day - New York's Cablevision Corp., owner of Cable News Channel 12, has actually banned the American flag from news programming.

News 12 is broadcast over the Cablevision system, one of the country's largest, reaching 1.5 million homes through metropolitan New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Cablevision, headed by media mogul Charles Dolan, also owns "The Wiz," Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers, and cable channel American Movie Classics - among its many media and entertainment properties.

"Our office is a newsroom and news people are committed to supplying objective information on events here and around the world," wrote Pat Dolan, News 12 news director, in a memo banning on-air flag displays distributed to employees Sunday.

Long Island's Newsday reported the story in editions today.

Dolan became concerned when American flags began popping up in his newsroom and - horrors - even on the lapels of some of his anchors. Meanwhile all the other networks, both broadcast and cable, drench themselves in red, white and blue.

"We have to avoid giving a false impression that we lean one way or the other," said the news director. Dolan is apparently trying to strike a balance between his fellow Americans and the terrorists who have vowed to kill them.

In an interview with Long Island's Newsday, which reported News 12's flag ban in print editions only, Dolan admitted the move has angered some of his employees.

"We've had a few heated discussions."

But he stuck to his guns. "What we're trying to do is make clear that our guys can express their patriotism, but we don't want the flag to be associated with their daily activities as electronic journalists."

Dolan called the on-air flag waving "a real problem when war breaks out," explaining that he doesn't want his viewers to get the impression that "we may subtly endorse what the government is doing."

To share your views on News 12's American flag ban, call Cablevision headquarters at (516) 803-2300.

You may also want to send a free e-mail to Cablevision: Click Here.

-- K (, September 20, 2001


I don't watch Cablevision, and now I never will. Revolting, disgusting attitude. Can people like this look in the mirror and call themselves Americans?

-- Chance (, September 20, 2001.

I've watched American Movie Classics. Glad to know this. I will never watch again. I've also paid to watch Knicks and Rangers games. No more.

-- Wellesley (, September 20, 2001.

Last night the station's news director, Patrick Dolan (same name as owner) aplolized on-air for "rubbing salt in a wound" over this flag controversy. I noticed the flag displayed on feature pieces and sports. I did not notice it when they were reporting news.

According to Channel 12's view, I guess that Fox and CNN cannot be fairly reporting the news because the flag was displayed. What bunk! Can you imagine this happening during WWII? Their license would be yanked for such a biased view.

-- K (, September 20, 2001.

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