This scathing “Exxon Hates the World” ad smacks of satire, but many a truth is said in jest. Which is probably why you’ve never seen this ad on television.
As with its 2012 predecessor, “Exxon Hates Your Children,” television station managers won’t run it because the folks at Exxon buy an an awful lot of airtime, and they can be verrrry persuasive. The producers — Oil Change International, The Other 98%, and Environmental Action — explain:
ExxonMobil never directly communicated with our organizations. Instead, they chose to attempt to censor our free speech by seeking to persuade station managers, who often receive advertising revenue from the oil industry, to not run the ads.
But since these are obviously smart people, they surely must have known that would happen. So why do they bother?
Because we want to live in a world where we can tell the plain truth about the richest companies in the world, right on television – and it’s no big deal.
Silly rabbit, “free speech” is for folks with money.
No wonder we rarely see any advertising that isn’t produced by corporations. We Americans like to think we have an inalienable right to “free speech.” But if we can’t actually exercise our right to “free speech” — even when we’re willing to pay for it — then we’ve got a serious problem.
The ad producers also acknowledge that “hate” is a mighty strong word, but they still aren’t afraid to use it:
Does Exxon actually hate the world? No one knows, but its record and actions, along with those of its fossil fuel industry colleagues, show an incredible disregard for our nation and its future. Our ad is obvious satire, but with an important message that is protected by the First Amendment.
All we can hope is that if we all keep sending messages, maybe a few will get through… to someone… somewhere.