Paul Elisha: We Interrupt This Special Report For A Commercial
This rumination is being penned on Sunday, December 8th, the day following what became known as “The Day Of Infamy,” as President Franklin Roosevelt described it, on December 7th, 1941, after forces of the empire of Japan had deliberately attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands, at the outset of World War II, in the Pacific. It has since been referred to, for the past 72 years as “Pearl Harbor Day.”
For this combat veteran of the Pacific conflict, however, the date now has a special shameful and grievous aspect, unlike any before it. For the first time since they began marking it, TV and other media moguls have undertaken deliberate actions to profit from their coverage; devoting specific telecast breaks to inane commercials, touting the sale of cars, furniture, mattresses, food-stuffs, electronic and computer-related devices. They have soiled the sacrifice of thousands of lives, devoted to the preservation of democracy, to profit from its seamiest aspect, the acquisition of additional dollars as a reward.
The solemnity of the day was even further cheapened by similar breaks for ads, in special simultaneous coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black President and re-creator of its Apartheid society into a multi-racial democracy. Here, too, they soiled impressive tribute with inane interruptions, to insult and cheapen majesty, for the conscienceless collection of coinage.
Too many Americans have already contributed too much of their lives, limbs and livelihoods so that others might yet inherit equal opportunity. To allow a covetous cabal of craven classless captors to deprive them of it, dishonors our past and derides a future we can still ennoble, by demanding prohibitive action, from the FCC.
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