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Jun 25, 2014 10:03 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Veteran: Memorial Day Speech Being Edited By Local TV

Jun 25, 2014 10:49 AM

A local veteran says he is frustrated that a Memorial Day speech he gave in Southampton Village is being censored on at least one local TV station when aired.

According to Bill Jones, a Shinnecock Hills resident and U.S. Army veteran, the point of his speech was to honor those who died protecting American freedoms, including freedom of speech—which is why it is ironic to him that he is being censored.

The speech, which was given on Memorial Day at the Lake Agawam Memorial in front of several hundred guests, started by focusing on the life of recently deceased Chris Cosich, the founder of Honor Flight Long Island, before morphing into a talk about oppression by the federal government. That portion of his speech was eliminated in at least one TV broadcast.

“I knew there would be those to perceive it as inappropriate, but I did not attack any particular party, and I did not single out any individual,” Mr. Jones said this week. “I kept it very general in nature, in terms of the facts that the federal government has been overzealous these days. While there are some who might have perceived it as inappropriate, I disagree, because it is really now up to the living to protect the freedoms that others died preserving.”

When reached this week, a representative from Sea-TV said the network can edit all programming to fit a time slot with the exception of footage of government meetings.

“Most disturbing is how our individual voices are being silenced by the government, the media, and segments of American society as we fear retribution and dismissal for being ‘politically incorrect’ in our thoughts,” Mr. Jones said this week. “This is not the America that our soldiers died for.”

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Leave his speech alone, disgusting
By MACDADDY (49), SOUTHAMPTON on Jun 25, 14 11:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
I would guess it has more to do with editing it for the time-slot, as SEA-TV says, then "censorship". Surely they knew he would notice that it got cut-off. Furthemore, he wasn't censored while making the speech. If whoever is airing it censored select words or sentences, I'd say he has a point but I think he is making a mountain out of a mole hill - but hey, that's his god given American right!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 25, 14 11:48 AM
... the guy gave a political speech on a day that is supposed to be about remembering those who died fighting for the protection of freedoms, not about politics. He knew he was going to cross the line and did it any way, and it backfired. Now he is crying the blues about his freedoms being taken away. Memorial Day is about remembering the dead, irrespective of both public opinion relative to the war they fought in or those in charge who brought us into that war. It is a sacred day - not a political ...more
By William Rodney (558), southampton on Jun 25, 14 1:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Two points:

1. Bill Jones is not entitled to have Sea-TV's schedule bent out of shape to accommodate his every word. People far more consequential than Mr. Jones -- prime ministers, generals, sports stars, et al. -- suffer the editing of TV and radio every day, because you can't exceed the time slot. Bill Jones is no exception. That SEA-TV chose to cut his partisan, ideological bluster and leave in the straight Memorial Day material referring to deceased heroes, principally Chris Cosich, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Jun 25, 14 2:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
BTW, I speak as a Viet Nam veteran.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Jun 25, 14 2:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
Going off the reservation is wrong on Bills part. BUT if what upset people is what was censored, I have an issue with that. It would appear that if they needed to cut the time, that cutting the controversial part is in fact censorship.

TB, while Chris Cosich was a great guy, did wonderful things for WWII Vets, he is not a hero.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jun 26, 14 6:11 PM
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