Saturday, June 10, 2017

CNN Fires Reza Aslan for Insulting President Trump

Once again, although we theoretically have free speech in this country it is important to remember that the concept really only limits the government and what it can do to you. Generally speaking the government can't imprison you for what you say nor can it prevent you from speaking because it doesn't like the content. Corporations are not governments. And although corporations can not put you in prison, they certainly can separate you from a stream of income. CNN just fired host Reza Aslan, who made profane statements in regards to President Trump citing his travel ban in regards to the recent terror attacks in Great Britain.

After Trump tweeted about his travel ban following the London terror attack, Aslan responded, “This piece of s*** is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.”
He later took down that tweet and apologized.
But there was still pressure for the network to drop Aslan. The Media Research Center in particular spearheaded some of those efforts:

After some sustained pressure from angry Trump supporters CNN told Aslan to go kick rocks.

I think it's important to remember who you are and where you are. If you happen to be the media spokesman for F*** Trump LLC. then you can of course speak in the tones which Aslan chose. But if you are a host on a news network then you might want to recall that however intense your personal religiously or politically inspired hatred of President Trump might be, there's a good chance that your employer may not share your views. Your employer might have a set of guidelines to which it wants to adhere when discussing the President, both for reasons of journalism and business. 

CNN is not Fox News. It has a different business model. Probably Aslan would have been just fine if he made that statement on MSNBC or The Young Turks or some other places which are more openly partisan. But saying what he did was bad for CNN's business. So he's gone. This is an example of how "gotcha" reactions can play out. Partisans on all sides will continue to look for scalps to collect any time one of THEM says something out of line, privately or not, on company time or not. So it goes. Everyone is on the warpath now. So welcome to the new reality. Just watch what you say. 

Would you have fired Reza Aslan?

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