All Major Networks Refuse to Air Mother Teresa Image; Right to Life of Michigan Air Spot in Smaller Markets Jan. 22 1998
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., -- Each of the major networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN & FOX -- refused to air an image of Mother Teresa, set to air Jan. 22, 1998 across the country.
Right to Life of Michigan worked for a year and a half to obtain permission to place the 30-second spot. When the major networks refused to air the piece, Right to Life of Michigan worked with individual markets across the nation to place the spot.
The spot will aired on Jan. 22 across the nation in 21 major markets during the late news.
"One of the final interviews with Mother Teresa has provided us with a 30- second advertisement," said Amanda Peterman, RLM LifeMedia Director. "And then censors at the major networks refused to let Americans see her image. This is agonizing for us, with all the good intentions behind this, after all the effort."
Issue advertisements and opinions are broadcast every day on major networks, said Erin Wilson, RLM Director of Public Information.
"The censorship of Mother Teresa is consistent with a tendency to promote the option of abortion and stifle prolife voices all together," Wilson said. "Mother Teresa is a citizen of the world, a citizen of all countries and all religions -- Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Buddhists, and others. Contrasted to the general fare of prime time television, we are left to wonder why this woman is so offensive."
Please contact Right to Life Michigan for further information on markets, air times and other details on this historic Jan. 22, 1998 run of the Mother Teresa spot.
Major Networks Refuse to Air Right to Life of Michigan Spots Media Spots to be Unveiled at Press Conference 1/16/98
Right to Life of Michigan (RLM) is holding a press conference Friday to unveil a 30-second media spot that each of the major networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX & CNN -- have refused to air. The press conference occurs at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol, in room 428.
In light of the fact that the spot was rejected by the major networks, RLM worked for several months to purchase time on over 20 local media markets across the country.
The media spot -- which will run extensively throughout Michigan and the rest of the nation -- features one of the final interviews with Mother Teresa, captured by award-winning producer Jim Hanon just months before her death. In the 30-second segment of this interview, Mother Teresa makes some concerned comments about life issues.
"The refusals of the major networks was based on an alleged policy against issues," said Project Director Amanda Peterman. "It is difficult to accept this, given inconsistencies."
Peterman pointed out that networks use programming and advertising to put opinions in American homes every night of the year, from editorials to commercials for hard liquor.
"Mother Teresa talks about children and the networks censor her," Peterman added, saying she wondered if this "policy" wasn't just selective censorship.
"Mother Teresa transcends all religions, all classes," said RLM President Barbara A. Listing. "In the eyes of the world she was a humanitarian. In a land of Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, she was considered a saint. But these networks consider her so controversial that they censor her."
RLM sought to pay the going rate in order to air the Mother Teresa spot. Unlike much programming, the spots featured no vulgar language, no violence and no nudity. It was even denied by the network featuring a show about a priest who advises on abortion.
"By virtue of their programming, the networks state a collective opinion which is largely in favor of abortion," Peterman said. "We wanted to pay for thirty seconds in which we would state our opinion. And they told us no."