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December 3, 2004

Ever since the Janet Jackson Superbowl episode nearly a year ago, the media has been up and screaming about free speech and censorship. It's been brought up again recently by a number of events: the winning of the conservative right in the elections, an ad for Desperate Housewives in which one of the actresses shows everything (we only see her back) to a football player in a locker room, and then the choice of many tv stations around the country to not show the movie Saving Private Ryan on prime-time broadcast television.In an Op-Ed piece today in the NY Times by FCC chairman Michael Powell, he finally comments about his side of things. I actually find it funny. Not that the article is humorous, but it shows the liberal media's twisting things for their own interests. A couple items of note:

"[There is a] desire of the American people for a minimum level of decency on the public airwaves - particularly where their children are concerned. The often unenviable task of striking a balance between these two competing values falls to the Federal Communications Commission." "The F.C.C.'s job of regulating indecent content on the airwaves is not optional; it has been required ever since Congress first made the broadcast of obscene, indecent and profane material illegal more than 70 years ago. The law continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support."

and my favorite:
"Some have also questioned why the commission is unwilling to issue rulings before a broadcast, as was the case with the recent network showing of "Saving Private Ryan," a film the commission had previously held was not indecent. While ABC and its affiliates understandably would have liked to know the program was in bounds before proceeding, the precedent of submitting programming or scripts for government review borders dangerously on censorship"
There was an editorial in the Times a while ago (that is not freely available anymore) that expressed the sadness of tv stations being intimidated or scared by the FCC because of possible fines. As I've mentioned, there've been others saying the FCC is exercising censhorship, with some of those wanting the FCC to say whether a program is appropriate or not. Yet that step of approval would be real censorship. Perhaps the liberal media should realize (especially given the election results) that not everyone is with them. Just maybe, not everyone wants their children to be constantly presented with implied sex and outright indecency. That's not censorship, in fact that is free speech.

Posted by charr at 10:00 AM
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Last Updated 11/07/03