More than two dozen CBS affiliates have decided either to drop or delay an updated version of the documentary 9/11 after some "family values" groups mounted a campaign to urge the FCC to fine the network and its stations for what one of their leaders described as "hardcore profanity" spoken by some of the rescuers who appear in the film. Congress recently increased the fines the FCC can impose on a station for broadcasting indecent language from $32,500 to $325,000. Martin Franks, executive vice president of CBS, said that the pullout by the stations represented "example No. 1" of the chilling effect on free speech of the legislative action and by earlier fines meted out by the FCC for the Janet Jackson incident at the Super Bowl two years ago. The Rev. Don Wildmon had asked the 3 million members of his American Family Association and other sympathizers to bombard the FCC and their CBS stations with complaints about the language in the documentary. But on Arianna Huffington's liberal blog, one message read: "Let me get this straight: It is perfectly okay for children to watch a documentary on 9-11 and see planes crash into the WTC; view footage of people jumping out of burning buildings; witness pandemonium in the streets of NYC; hear audio tape of real 911 calls; and see scenes of the wounded being treated at triage units; but it is NOT okay for them to hear curse words?"
Nothing personal, if I was in NYC on the day of the attacks I think even the best of us would be using hardcore profanity. Yet ABC can make up shit about 9/11 and go ahead and air it as a "DOCUDRAMA". Should be called a fricking work of fiction propagated by ring-wing ideologues. I find that more offensive then hearing real people in NYC near the WTC on 9/11/01 saying the word FUCK at the horror they were witnessing!
6. actually CBS' position is a tactic in its litigation against the FCC
Nothing complicated. The FCC said that the word "fucking" as uttered by Bono on the Golden Globes on NBC was not indecent. Then they said it was. Then said "fuck" uttered during ABC's telecast of Saving Private Ryan was okay, but "fuck" as uttered on a PBS documentary about the blues was indecent. CBS is embroiled in litigation with the FCC arising out of the Janet Jackson "incident" and wants to make the strongest case possible about the irrational and unpredictable application of the FCC's "indecency" standard and how it has a chilling effect on speech. The cancellation or delayed broadcast of the 9/11 documentary (which aired without triggering any indecency enforcement issues a couple of years) serves the goals of CBS (and other networks) in their fight against the FCC.
9. E! Channel can show one of the "Girls Next Door" in nothing but a pastie
and g-string and yet this is somehow obscene?
And I'm not being critical of the E! show - I watched it a few times, it's all fluff. But the one episode for Hef's birthday, the one girlfriend was doing a burlesque Cake dance and stripped down to her pasties and g-string - fully displayed.
10. legal difference between over the air tv and subscription tv
Edited on Tue Sep-05-06 05:05 PM by onenote
The argument for regulating indecency on free over the air broadcast outlets (radio and TV) and not regulating it on "cable only" channels like E! is that broadcasting is a "pervasive" medium while subscription services are not. There are those who would argue that the distinction has lost its meaning since most of the viewing public watches "free" over the air television broadcasts through a subscription cable or satellite service that retransmits those broadcasts in a manner that is indistinguishable from their "cable-only" programming.
Ultimately, however, I think the distinction still holds: something you have to subscribe to, whether its a magazine or a video program, warrants different treatment (and less regulation) than something that is more "ubiquitous". That is why I think someone should be able to subscribe to a and receive in the mail a magazine containing adult content but that mailing adult material unsolicited to someone could reasonably be subject to regulation.
on edit: to clarify, I think the FCC's application of their indecency standard to broadcast television and radio has been completely irrational and is indefensible. A fleeting shot of a nipple, or a brief, spontaneous use of the word fuck in a context that promotes realism is not indecent imo.
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