Claim: ABC banned on-air personnel from wearing American flag pins after 9/11.
Yesterday, the brass at ABC News issued orders forbidding reporters to wear lapel pin American flags or other patriotic insignia. Their reasoning was that ABC should remain neutral about "causes". Since when is support for preventing our death & destruction some sort of a cause? Since when is patriotism to be discouraged. I urge you to boycott ABC and its sponsors and affiliates.
Please forward this to as many as you can.
[Collected via e-mail, March 2015]
Goodbye to ABC.
ABC News Joins Obama and Bans American Flag Lapel Pins!
ABC NEWS BANS FLAG LAPEL PINS
This is what we get from the present attitudes in Washington.
Barbara Walters said that this was going to hurt ABC bad. And she works for ABC.
YESTERDAY THE BRASS AT ABC NEWS ISSUED ORDERS FORBIDDING REPORTERS TO WEAR LAPEL PIN AMERICAN FLAGS OR OTHER PATRIOTIC INSIGNIA. THEIR REASONING WAS THAT ABC SHOULD REMAIN NEUTRAL ABOUT 'CAUSES'. SINCE WHEN IS PATRIOTISM TO BE DISCOURAGED? I URGE YOU TO BOYCOTT ABC AND ITS SPONSORS AND AFFILIATES. WE ARE SLOWLY LOSING EVERYTHING OUR COUNTRY STANDS FOR AND EVERYTHING OUR MEN AND WOMEN FOUGHT AND DIED TO PRESERVE! PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO AS MANY AS YOU CAN.
THIS ONE NEEDS TO BE CIRCULATED...QUICKLY
Origins: After the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, many Americans were eager and proud to visibly affirm their support for their country by adorning themselves, their homes, their workplaces, and their cars with various patriotic symbols: U.S. flags; red, white, and blue ribbons; flag lapel pins; flag posters; and the like.
This outbreak of patriotic fervor created a dilemma for the news departments of television networks, however. It had been a long-standing practice among all the networks (going back decades before the 9/11 attacks)
The ABC network was singled out for especially heavy criticism in this regard, due in large part to articles such as the following:
"Why would it ever be inappropriate?" wondered Brit Hume, Fox News Channel's managing editor in Washington. "It doesn't stand for the Bush administration or for a certain party or even the government. It stands for the country. Why is wearing a symbol of the country of which you're a citizen a problem?"
Hume has worn flag pins on the air. CBS, NBC and CNN have no set policy.
But ABC has become the first major news network to ask its journalists not to wear American flag pins in their lapels, or even red, white and blue ribbons, in an effort to protect their credibility as objective sources.
"What if Peter's wearing one, but Ted's not?" asked ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider, referring to Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel. "Does that mean one journalist is more patriotic than the other? It's best not to place such an unfair burden on the reporters.
"We cannot signal through outward symbols how we feel, even if the cause is justified. Overseas, it could be perceived that we're just mouthpieces for the U.S. government, and that can place our journalists in danger."
Some people argue that the events of the past few weeks have been so extraordinary that journalists should be allowed to deviate from traditional rules, at least for now. Few viewers have complained about networks plastering flags on sets and screens.
ABC's continued observation of a long-standing policy was quickly spun into the false claim that ABC had just banned journalists from engaging in a practice previously allowed to them. But as
Many newspeople at various networks and affiliate stations did begin donning U.S. flag lapel pins and other patriotic insignia after 9/11, although one of the most prominent news anchors of that period, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, surprisingly did not. O'Reilly explained his decision by stating that "I'm just a regular guy. Watch me and you'll know what I think without [my] wearing a pin."
Reaction to the "no flags" issue ranged from disagreement voiced by newspeople at local television stations:
"I don't see a contradiction at all between being a patriotic American and being a solid journalist," Trouw said. "Displaying the flag is not a symbol of the government. It's a show of support for fellow Americans."
Seriously, the hypocrisy is nauseating. "Ethical" news editors wave the high-minded banner of objectivity in wartime. But in peacetime, they don't think twice about allowing — even encouraging — their reporters to participate in such highly politicized activities as AIDS fund-raisers, race-based affirmative action lobbying efforts, anti-gun proselytizing,
Last updated: 25 March 2015
Cruz, Gilbert. "A Brief History of the Flag Lapel Pin." Time. 3 July 2008. Emling, Shelley. "Should TV Journalists Be Flying the Flag?" The Atlanta Constitution. 25 September 2001 (p. D1). Malkin, Michelle. "Media's Blind Eye Missing a Parade of Red-White-Blue." Reuters. 7 October 2001 (p. V5). Turegano, Preston. "Too Much Red, White and Blue on TV News for Objectivity?" The San Diego Union-Tribune . 2 October 2001 (p. E1).