Concern Over Censorship

I do not like politics. However, it does necessarily exist, despite my distaste for it. Thus, I rarely write a letter to any media outlet to share a complaint. In fact, I cannot recall the last time I did so… until today, that is.

Whether or not you watch particular programs, personalities, or networks, I hope that we John or Jane Q. Public types always hope for fairness. After looking into the fact that Fox News bounced their Saturday night program featuring former judge, Jeannine Pirro, I grew concerned over growing censorship.

It’s not just in media outlets, but we are seeing more and more attempts to squelch anyone, anywhere who does not express the opinions we happen to share. I find that both sad and unhealthy.

In the spirit of transparency, here is the letter I sent to management at Fox News.

Dear Fox News Management,

I write to share my concerns of “Justice” being pulled from the air last Saturday. Highly disappointed in Fox News management just begins to describe my feelings. My thoughts on the matter run far deeper.

Reporters who shift to analysis surrender reporter status. Reporters who offer opinions on discussion panels surrender reporter status. Such reporters become opinion brokers. This is not a bad thing. Fox News has a long reputation for supporting opinion brokers ranting on a wide array of opinions, many of which are highly controversial. I need not agree with them. That gets ratings. Fine.

When an opinion broker is criticized for spewing a controversial opinion, I do not expect the source to be Fox News management. That reflects the antithesis of the entire platform.

There tends to be a sad popularity to “knee-jerk” reactions to controversy lately, but I have come to expect no less from the mainstream media. Pulling Jeannine Pirro off the air in response to her comments may well fall within that category, which I had not expected from Fox News.

I immediately thought of the Kentucky student, Nick Sandmann, who garnered so much harsh criticism from the video of the confrontation in front of the Lincoln Memorial in January, 2019. Many in the mainstream media quickly attacked Sandmann and the other students, since many wore MAGA hats and shirts. It turned out that the native American elder, Nathan Phillips, turned out to be the one confronting Sandmann. However, the many knees that jerked after seeing just a “snippet of information” could not be un-jerked.

When Judge Jeannine Pirro posed her questions about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D) Minnesota, she did so as an opinion broker, not a reporter. That is her job. For those of the Muslim faith to take offense is their right, just as conservatives take offense when their positions are criticized or questioned. However, when moving beyond the snippet of information, one learns that Omar does indeed fully support the laws of Islam, also known as Sharia Law.

Are we supposed to be so “politically correct” that we must not comment, question, or have a differing opinion from someone else, especially if they happen to be Islamic? If that is true, most of your opinion-brokering personalities on Fox News would have to be taken off the air.

It is my deepest hope that last Saturday’s action does not reflect some new censorship direction for Fox News. Keep “fair and balanced” alive in your news room. Keep opinion brokers feeling supported, rather than skating on thin ice if they offend the wrong person.

When you bring back Judge Jeannine Pirro, which I sincerely hope happens immediately, I strongly believe it should be with an apology. That apology should not come from her to anyone she may have offended, but it should come to her from those in management who made the sadly unworthy, knee-jerk decision to squelch her in the first place.

If not, how will others on your strong team of opinion brokers ever feel “safe” again? How will their opinions not start to get watered down simply to avoid stepping on someone else’s toes?

I am not one to rush to judgment or negatively mouth off on social media. I am one to write a thoughtful letter. I am one to hope we can all do better next time.

Most sincerely,

Cathy Burnham Martin

Okay, friends and readers, as the author of “The Bimbo Has MORE Brains… Surviving Political Correctness,” you know that I simply had to speak up. I believe in supporting what I believe is right and protesting against what I believe is wrong. Jeannine Pirro has a powerful reputation for standing up for “the little guy,” the underdog. I feel obligated to stand up for her when the powers that be made her the underdog.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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