Is offending someone's religion or religious beliefs a sign of having a conscience?
Apparently it is to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences which is going to give an award to the highly controversial CNN miniseries "God's Warriors" for being "Television With a Conscience."
I kid you not.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced its nine inaugural recipients of The Television Academy Honors — an annual recognition and celebration of the television programs that have best presented issues of concern to society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way. John Shaffner, Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, announced the honorees today.
An outgrowth of the Television Academy’s Television Cares Committee, “The Television Academy Honors” will celebrate these 2007 recipients who exemplify "television with a conscience" at a star-studded event to be held on May 1st at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Phil Gurin (The Singing Bee, Miss Universe Pageant) is producing.
“We received almost 200 entries following the announcement of ‘The Television Academy Honors’ and our call for entries this past December,” Shaffner said.
“It was very difficult to narrow them down to a final group of honorees," he explained. "However, we felt the shows and movies we selected best represent what this honor stands for – programming that enlightens, educates, creates awareness and instigates positive change regarding a wide range of social and health issues.”
From the moment this miniseries was announced, NewsBusters has reported its and others' concerns:
Maybe most hysterical, my colleague Lynn Davidson reported last December that "God's Warriors" host Christiane Amanpour actually won the Dishonest Reporter of 2007 Award for this miniseries:
This year's Dishonest Reporter voting marks a change for HonestReporting readers. Previous awards went to large, impersonal news services, but not so this year. One journalist made herself such a lightning rod in 2007 she easily defeated BBC and Reuters – the traditional disfavorites.
The results didn't surprise us, but the depth of anger and lingering resentment indicate that readers weren't just outraged by our winner's work; on some level, they were personally offended in a way far exceeding the rest of the MSM’s Mideast coverage this year. Which is why the 2007 Dishonest Reporting Award goes to Christiane Amanpour, for her in-depth, but tragically flawed CNN special series, God's Warriors.
Sadly, the folks also responsible for deciding television's Emmys saw this program as "television with a conscience."
Isn't that special?