Dobb's parting shot at media justice activism

UCC Office of Communication, Inc.:

CNN commentator Lou Dobbs abruptly announced that he was quitting the news network last night, but not before he included misleading information about the United Church of Christ and its support for the interfaith media justice coalition, So We Might See. In October, through its website, the coalition asked individuals to sign onto a letter to the Federal Communications Commission calling for a public hearing into the effects of anti-immigrant hate speech in the media.

On his final show, Dobbs whose anti-immigration diatribes had become commonplace interviewed the American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord, a UCC member, who has written lengthy unsubstantiated opinion pieces over the past five weeks critical of the involvement of the United Church of Christ's Office of Communication, Inc. (OC, Inc.) the church's historic and independently incorporated media justice organization in the So We Might See coalition.

Lord's mischaracterizations of the UCC, OC Inc. and the coalition's work were refuted in an Oct. 28 statement by the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, the UCC's director of communication, who also serves as executive director of OC Inc.

The So We Might See Coalition was launched in July of this year to promote interfaith awareness of shared media-related issues and concerns. At the invitation of the UCC's OC Inc., several interfaith partners joined the coalition, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Islamic Society of North America, the National Council of Churches Communications Commission, Presbyterian News Service, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Disciples Justice Action Network. United Methodist Communications initially joined but later sought more time to seek its board members' approval.

"So We Might See is a new, but strong coalition committed to shedding light on important issues of media justice ranging from broadband internet access to junk food advertising targeting our kids," Guess said. "As one of our many issues of concern, our 2009 Media Violence Fast in October sought to encourage conversation and exploration into the effects of anti-immigrant hate speech on TV and radio."

The UCC's work to raise awareness about anti-immigrant hate speech has received support from others in the Hispanic community.

At its annual meeting, the UCC's Council for Hispanic Ministries voted to endorse OC Inc.'s "work in these efforts and against all hate media," according to the Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks, CHM chair.

article originally published at UCC Office of Communication, Inc..

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey