Press Release– Georgia Div. Sons of Confederate Veterans
“(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”…
Even though the History Channel, along with its parent company AETV, have attempted “heavy handed” tactics, it’s nice to know that the commercials are still airing. As the press release states, The History Channel has, in the past, been an outlet for controversial topics. One in particular that comes to mind is the program “Camp Douglas: Eighty Acres of Hell”, which as one opinion page author writes:
“At Camp Douglas, countless men were tortured, killed, denied medical health care, denied food, made to stand naked in the snow and any black prisoner brought into the camp was guaranteed death… in at least one case, a black prisoner was shot dead as soon as he walked through the camp doors as there was an unspoken rule that any black Confederate soldier was to be executed on sight.”
It doesn’t get much more controversial than that. Which makes me question the true motives of the History Channel as well as their parent company AETV.- Webmaster.
Contact: The History Channel
EVP, National Ad Sales