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Networks refuse to air Mother Theresa ads from RTL Michigan

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Major Networks Refuse to Air Right to Life of Michigan Spots Media Spots to be Unveiled at Press Conference 1/16/98

Right to Life of Michigan (RLM) is holding a press conference Friday to unveil a 30-second media spot that each of the major networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CNN -- have refused to air. The press conference occurs at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol, in room 428.

In light of the fact that the spot was rejected by the major networks, RLM worked for several months to purchase time on over 20 local media markets across the country.

The media spot -- which will run extensively throughout Michigan and the rest of the nation -- features one of the final interviews with Mother Teresa, captured by award-winning producer Jim Hanon just months before her death. In the 30-second segment of this interview, Mother Teresa makes some concerned comments about life issues.

"The refusals of the major networks was based on an alleged policy against issues," said Project Director Amanda Peterman. "It is difficult to accept this, given inconsistencies."

Peterman pointed out that networks use programming and advertising to put opinions in American homes every night of the year, from editorials to commercials for hard liquor.

"Mother Teresa talks about children and the networks censor her,"

Peterman added, saying she wondered if this "policy" wasn't just selective censorship.

"Mother Teresa transcends all religions, all classes," said RLM President Barbara A. Listing. "In the eyes of the world she was a humanitarian. In a land of Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, she was considered a saint. But these networks consider her so controversial that they censor her."

RLM sought to pay the going rate in order to air the Mother Teresa spot. Unlike much programming, the spots featured no vulgar language, no violence and no nudity. It was even denied by the network featuring a show about a priest who advises on abortion.

"By virtue of their programming, the networks state a collective opinion which is largely in favor of abortion," Peterman said. "We wanted to pay for thirty seconds in which we would state our opinion. And they told us no."

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