Monday, November 22, 2004

Tom Shales has a great piece in the Washington Post about FCC Chairman Michael Powell's "indecency" crusade. An excerpt:
The madness reached its appalling apotheosis on Veterans Day: Sixty-five of ABC's 220 owned or affiliated stations declined to air the universally praised Steven Spielberg film "Saving Private Ryan," about American heroes of World War II, because the verboten F-word is spoken several times, and the FCC now fines stations sometimes astronomical amounts if even a few people file complaints over what they have heard.

This means Spielberg's acclaimed Holocaust film, "Schindler's List," cannot be shown again on a broadcast network because it, too, contains unpleasant language and, of course, graphic violence. See, it's about the Nazis, and they tended to be a little pushy. But realism is no defense, artistic excellence is no defense, even a consensus that the program in question constitutes a public service is no defense. (By contractual agreement, Spielberg's films must be shown without deletions or alterations.)
The whole article is worth reading.

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