Clear Channel Outdoor is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies with more than 675,000 displays reaching more than half a billion people in more than 40 countries on five continents each month.
By Eileen Fleming
Clear Channel in Orlando now joins OutFront Media in dishonoring USS Liberty Veterans and Friends First Amendment Rights
On 17 April 2016, this reporter and the Florida representative of the grass roots effort seeking to Honor the USS LIBERTY Veterans contacted Clear Channel Media to inquire HOW much to create a digital campaign beginning in Orlando with a sign that would simply state:
USS LIBERTY Remembrance Day
On April 18, Clear Channel’s Orlando Account Executive replied by email, “one board will be $1,200 for 4 weeks.”
On April 20, the five pages of nonprofit paperwork were delivered to Clear Channel by email.
My four follow-up emails went unanswered and my final phone call to the Clear Channel Representative went to his voice mail.
I was seeking to learn WHEN the campaign would begin.
I received the answer on April 22 at 5:09 PM EST via a voice mail from the Orlando Branch President of Clear Channel Outdoor which concluded:
The campaign you guys were interested in running unfortunately we cannot honor at a public service rate because of the political nature of the ad as well as we do not want to participate in this campaign…
I appreciate your passion and what you are doing but it’s very political in nature and it’s not something we want to move forward with in this market.
Clear Channels MISSION Statement includes these VALUES:
Challenge ourselves to create new and better ways
Build relationships that create value
Support and encourage ideas that push boundaries
Be a team of collaborators
RISK TAKING: Failure isn’t failure if you learn from it.
Use our resources to inspire action in the communities we live in and serve.
Have fun and love what we do.
If I can’t laugh and if “I can’t dance it’s not my revolution” [-Emma Goldman] I respond by borrowing words from others:
Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe. -Elie Wiesel
Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. -Coretta Scott King
Everybody is a political person, whether you say something or you are silent. -Paulo Coelho
Everything is political. -Bob Marley
Everything is politics. -Thomas Mann
History is the key to everything! -Eva Herzigova
Beyond billboards, Friends of Liberty want to enshrine the oral histories of the USS LIBERTY veterans.
USS LIBERTY survivor Joe Meadors isn’t waiting for that effort to be fully funded and on 23 April he emailed ClearChannel.com the following:
Subject: Is Honoring American Veterans “Political”?
I am a survivor of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack and am currently serving my shipmates as Director of Operations of the USS Liberty Veterans Association.
Among the awards won by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty are the Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, eleven Silver Stars, twenty Bronze Stars, nine Navy Commendations, 208 Purple Hearts, 294 Combat Action Ribbons and the Presidential Unit Citation which makes the USS Liberty among the most decorated ships in US Navy history for a single action.
We understand that Clear Channel Outdoor has refused to give a group of our supporters your public service rate because you have deemed a message asking people to honor USS Liberty Survivors to be political in nature.
We would appreciate your telling us what about our service and what about the effort of our supporters in asking people to honor survivors of the attack on the USS Liberty and the families of our fallen shipmates you find political.
Were the supporters of the survivors of the attacks on the USS Pueblo, USS Stark and USS Cole and the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut to seek to have a billboard asking people to honor the survivors of those attacks and the families of those Killed in Action would they be similarly refused your public service rate?
Were the supporters of any US military veteran to ask for a billboard calling on people to honor that veteran would you deem their effort to be political and denied your public service rate? If not, what is so different about our service?
Please let us know by email to me at email@example.com so I may share your reasoning with my fellow USS Liberty survivors, our families and the families of 34 of our shipmates who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms and liberties we all enjoy but a sacrifice that you obviously have deemed to be political and inappropriate for your public service rate.
Joe Meadors USS Liberty Survivor, Director of Operations, USS Liberty Veterans Association
‘I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my shipmates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.’ –USS Liberty Survivors’ Creed
Friends of Liberty will never be out of the fight and We Won’t Back Down on our mission to Establish Every June 8 to be USS LIBERTY Remembrance Day.
Become a Friend of Liberty HERE
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