HISTORY CHANNEL CAVES TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN GEORGIA
(ATLANTA - November 29, 2010) The nationally syndicated cable television History Channel has made the controversial decision to force cable television companies, including Comcast and Charter, to pull ads paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Georgia commemorating the Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of the War Between the States.
The series of twelve television commercials by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is part of a statewide radio and television campaign aimed at commemorating the anniversary of the late War Between the States and educating the public on Georgia's important role and the historical causes of the War. All twelve television commercials, as well as a companion series of radio commercials, are still broadcasting across the state of Georgia; and an entire slate of additional commercials are already in production for 2011.
The commercials came under scrutiny of the History Channel when a little-known liberal Internet site began attacking the Sons of Confederate Veterans for commemorating the War and, subsequently, also the History Channel for allowing the commercials to broadcast in their programming.
Vice-president Nancy Alpert of A&E Television, the parent company of the History Channel, gave the following explanation of her decision to ban the historical ads: "The subject matter of each of the SCV ads, plus the actual language... is well beyond our guidelines for any advertising on AETN." Alpert cited her opinion that the ads violated History Channel guidelines by quoting, among other things, a statement in one commercial that the war was "Not a 'civil war' fought to take over the United States, as it is called in history books today, this was a war... against an aggressive invasion by federal troops." She also complained that one of the commercials related to the causes of the War stated that the South seceded in part because "Northern congressmen were able to vote themselves virtually anything they wanted, using Southern tax money, while the South was powerless to stop it."
The commercials clearly offer a different point of view than that which is usually presented by documentaries on the History Channel; yet the channel has purported in the past to be an outlet which offers competing, and even controversial, opinions about historical events. Speaking on behalf of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans which paid for the commercials to run, Division Commander Jack Bridwell had this to say, "We find it more than interesting that the History Channel has no problem airing shows with controversial theories about history, including more than one show which speculates that extraterrestrial aliens in UFO's somehow redirected human history, and yet the same channel does not see the value in allowing a non-profit, educational organisation to present the Southern view of the causes for the War."
As the organisation founded in 1896 and directly descended from the original United Confederate Veterans, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is charged in their initial charter with teaching the historical reasons for the South's heroic stand against overwhelming odds in the War. The charge given at the organisation's founding states, "To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought; To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, and the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish."
With the Sons of Confederate Veterans representing more than 100,000 Southerners across the country, the Georgia Division of the SCV announced today that it is launching a campaign to educate the general American public about the censorship and hypocrisy of the A&E Network and particularly the History Channel. It is estimated that the A&E Network stands to lose several hundred thousand dollars over the course of the next two quarters as their advertisers are barraged by former viewers who are unhappy with this pandering to "political correctness," particularly across the South.