'War,' 'April' will have nudity and language removed
By Michael Learmonth
PBS will censor two upcoming films given to the pubcaster by HBO in an effort to protect local public TV stations from potential FCC fines, prexy Pat Mitchell told critics at the winter press tour.
A scene in HBO's "Dirty War" will be edited to omit a naked woman being decontaminated in the aftermath of a "dirty bomb" attack on London. In "Sometimes April," a film about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, PBS will cut a salty expletive Vice President Dick Cheney used on the Senate floor.
The censored films are among the three given to PBS by HBO for airing after they run on the cabler. HBO gave the pubcaster rights to the films in order to gain a wider audience for them. HBO reaches some 30% of the American public, while PBS reaches nearly 99%.
The third film, "Yesterday," about a young African mother with AIDS, will not be censored.
"Cable doesn't have to live with those (FCC) regulations -- we do," Mitchell said.
Fines would put financially strapped local PBS stations at risk and discourage some from carrying the pics, PBS programming exec Jacoba Atlas said. Saturday.
So let me get this straight, Vice President Dick Cheney, an elected public official, tells Senator Patrick Leahy, another elected public official, to "go fuck yourself" on the floor of the United States Senate, one of the primary centers of our democratic government and a public space. Someone makes a film which includes the "go fuck yourself" incident, and PBS, a publicly-funded television organization supposedly dedicated to the public interest, can't or won't show the film intact because it fears that another organ of the federal government, the FCC, will fine it, because 6 people in Alabama will object to it.
The panic that is gripping American TV bosses facing a puritanical backlash or exorbitant government fines has today extended to a cartoon series and a BBC drama.
Fox TV has decided to pixelate a bare derriere in a cartoon series, The Family Guy, which was originally broadcast five years ago with no complaints.
Fox TV has already been hit by fines from the Federal Communications Commission with its network of affiliate stations each fined $7,000 in October for airing Married by America, a reality series in which a female contestant was seen licking cream from a male stripper's chest.
With its affiliate stations already rapped, FCC is now considering a record $1.2m fine for the Fox network for the same offence.
"We have to be checking and second-guessing ourselves now," Gail Berman, the head of Fox Entertainment, told Variety today.
While the FCC has been accused by some groups of deliberately undercounting complaints, it has nevertheless shown an appetite for hitting stations with substantial fines.
Last year CBS parent Viacom was given a $500,000 fine for showing a sub-one second glimpse of Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl half-time show.
Fearful of even the slightest protest, Fox this year turned down an advert for a cold remedy because it contained a brief flash of 84-year-old actor Mickey Rooney's bottom.
Other networks are also being ultra-cautious - late last year 66 stations in the ABC network refused to show Steven Spielberg's second world war drama, Saving Private Ryan, because of its explicit language.
Groups such as the Parents Television Council, and the American Decency Association have become increasingly adept at harnessing the power of the internet and email in particular to lobby for what they call family friendly TV.
Supporters can simply email the groups website to have their complaint sent through to the relevant sector within the FCC.
Just last week the PTC urged supporters to mount an email campaign against CBS for re-broadcasting an episode of missing person drama Without a Trace which attracted around 7,500 complaints when it was first shown because it featured scenes of a "teenage orgy".
"As if it isn't bad enough that CBS/Viacom was so irresponsible to air this rubbish once at a time when millions of children were in the viewing audience, they chose to air it again - this time on the heels of their Consent Decree in which they admitted to violating indecency laws and promised to take immediate steps not to do it again," said Tim Winter, the executive director of the PTC.
"We are urging our members and other concerned citizens to file indecency complaints with the FCC about this rebroadcast."
Things are seriously out of whack, I really don't recognize this as the country I grew up in.
Time is out of joint
All telescoped is space
I don't recognize the world
I can't remember its face
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.