Friday, September 17, 2010


Riding north from Lansing today, my dear wife was trying to operate her new cell phone and stumbled onto an email to the effect that ABC has forbidden its reporters to wear patriotic, American flag lapel pins.

Sounded pretty silly to me, so when we got home, I Googled and Snoped and pulled up the whole story.

First thing I learned was that it’s old news. Very old.

Apparently all network news channels have forbidden all kinds of lapel pins for a very long time.

The ABC story came about because after 9/11 some of the reporters asked if there could be an exception to the ‘no pin’ rule because of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

ABC said no.

Apparently, the other networks said yes.

So now all the red blooded patriotic American folks are ticked off at ABC.

And, I suppose, they’ll start boycotting ABC and the companies which advertise on ABC.

That’s their right. And no doubt if the cash register at ABC begins to feel the pinch, the honcho’s up in the executive office might just have some second thoughts.

That’s the way it works in a free country.

At least I’m glad that no hot dog anchorman at ABC has started a law suit to protest, like the hostess at Disneyland who wants to wear her Muslim hijab on the job.

ABC is a private company and they have as much right as Disneyland to have a policy about what their employees will and will not wear.

It’s strictly a business judgment.

Still, I have to wonder about the mentality of those who argued that the reporters should refrain from wearing American flag lapel pins because it would compromise their appearance of neutrality and could endanger reporters working overseas because they might be viewed as working for the American government.


Compromise their neutrality?

Put them in harm’s way because they might look like Americans?

I always thought the “A” in ABC stood for “American.”

Isn’t it the “American Broadcasting Company?”

Or are the reporters working overseas in less danger if they let people think that ABC stands for Arab Broadcasting Company?

I just wish some of our corporate whoosies would man up.

It could turn out to be good for business.


  1. Judge - listened to your keynote speech at the Article V Law Review Symposium at Cooley aw School.

    People are afraid of opening this door for another reason - Congress has already ignored their Constitutional duty once already by refusing to obey the last set of petitions. How can we be convinced they won't screw this up as well? What recourse would we have if they opened up the process, then subverted it?

  2. Frankly, as the long as media is corporately owned rather than owned by the reporters, you will get such silliness - just like Disney will be free to make their employees conform. Employee-owned firms are less likely to do such things, of course - which is neither here nor there.