Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A couple of outrages of the day

From Media Matters for America:

Is ABC providing airtime to Focus on the Family ad after denying it to United Church of Christ?

During the May 2 season finale of the ABC reality series Supernanny, James C. Dobson's Christian ministry Focus on the Family plans to air a nationwide commercial promoting the organization's toll-free phone number and its Focus On Your Child parenting website. In December 2004, ABC reportedly refused to air a commercial on its broadcast network from the United Church of Christ promoting its inclusive policy towards gays, racial minorities, and people with disabilities. While the ABC Family cable channel ran the commercial, according to a United Methodist Church press release, ABC's broadcast network (which airs Supernanny) joined broadcasters such as CBS, NBC, and UPN in rejecting the ad as "too controversial."

From Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Storm brews over weather information
Mark Lane - Daytona Beach News-Journal
Tuesday, May 3, 2005

A big part of my summer last year was spent nervously clicking on the National Weather Service's hurricane page (www.nhc.noaa.gov/). I expect to start again next month.

Nor am I alone. The weather service's site received 9 billion hits --- a government Web site record --- last year.

Wow. A government agency performing a useful service valued by a huge number of people, giving them easy access to data that was collected using their own tax dollars.

Obviously, this sort of mischief needs to be shut down and right away.

Obviously, that is, if you're a very conservative senator who happens to represent the state that is headquarters to AccuWeather.

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has introduced the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005, which says weather service employees may not "willfully impart" information otherwise available from the private sector.

This would seem to shut down the weather service's Web pages and silence your weather radio. It could prevent the agency from giving data to the Federal Aviation Administration so it can be used by pilots. No marine reports.

It would even forbid government meteorologists from talking with the press.

In other words, data collection would be at taxpayer expense, but data distribution would be for-profit only.


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