Cable channel MSNBC has released a new promotional commercial that changes the words of the Declaration of Independence, including omitting the mention of a Creator. The patriotic-themed ad makes some gender-specific changes to the Declaration’s wording and adds video of a gay marriage ceremony during the mention of “unalienable rights.”
MSNBC, long regarded as a bastion of liberal media elitism, suffers from low ratings compared to other news channels like CNN and Fox News. In an effort to bring in new viewers, the new ad has a feel-good patriotic theme that quotes the Declaration of Independence. However, some of the words have been changed.
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men and women have certain unalienable rights,” the commercial states. This is different from the original Declaration of Independence, however, which states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” MSNBC changes the word “men,” used to denote mankind, to a more PC and gender-specific “men and women.” It also omits the “equality” phrase as well as the mention of the “Creator” giving unalienable rights to men.
Some might dismiss the change in wording as editing for time and clarity, but considering the ad is nearly a minute long and contains other non-Declaration verbiage, the change seems even more glaring.
Of particular note is MSNBC’s choice of images while the words are being spoken. Much of the video and images are from Main Street America, showing families, flags, and farms. However, when the words “unalienable rights” are used, there is a quick shot of two men exchanging rings in a gay marriage ceremony. The video is quickly edited, and shows the two for less than a second; viewers not watching closely may not even see it. In addition, the word “Vote” flashes on the screen when the gay marriage clip is shown.
The use of words from the Declaration then morphs into a generic pro-America pitch. “Life liberty, pursuit of happiness, and the freedom to believe that while history has gotten us this far, our best days are still ahead. We are the United States of ‘come as you are.’ Our differences are what unite us.” The ad ends with the confusing catchphrase “MSNBC: Lean Forward.”
Ironically, the ad is similar to the type of promotions MSNBC would criticize from news organizations like Fox News, who often features promotions with patriotic themes.
Source: MSNBC, USHistory.org