February 11, 2006

Fight Back Against the PTC (sticky)

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 28, 2005 @ 4:34 pm
Filed under: General, Action, PTC, FCC

The PTC has begun lobbying the FCC for maximum fines against CBS and its affiliates as punishment for the February 17th episode of CSI. (Read the very detailed, and very bogus, PTC complaint. Or, watch the clip.)

The CSI episode in question dealt with the death of a Vegas casino magnate who happened to have a diaper fetish. While it certainly wouldn’t have received the PTC seal of approval, neither was it indecent.

Be the equal and opposite reaction. Tell the FCC that OUR “contemporary community standards” were not violated.

Send your letter now from https://speakspeak.org/letter/

(This form letter contains more political opining than usual. This was done as a point-counterpoint address of the PTC’s boilerplate complaint. Please read the letter entirely to make sure you agree, and feel free to change the letter to suit your own opinions. Personalized letters work best.)




SpeakSpeak in Broadcasting & Cable

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 28, 2005 @ 4:12 pm
Filed under: General, SpeakSpeak

Nice little piece about our efforts to counter the PTC in Broadcasting & Cable.

Keep the letters coming!




Gonzales Vows to Pursue Obscenity

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 28, 2005 @ 4:10 pm
Filed under: General, Obscene!, Right Watch, FCC

In his first official policy speech, delivered today at the Hoover Institution, Alberto Gonzales tacked a bullseye to “obscenity.”

“I am strongly committed to ensuring the right of free speech,” Gonzales said. “But obscene materials are not protected by the First Amendment, and I am committed to prosecuting these crimes aggressively.”

Speech info here.

Broadcasting and Cable pointed out that Gonzo was introduced by Ed Meese, Reagan’s smut vulture. Read more.




News: FCC Denies 3 More Indecency Complaints

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 28, 2005 @ 12:47 pm
Filed under: General, Obscene!, PTC, FCC

These against Will and Grace, Arrested Development and Saving Private Ryan.

Arrested Development:

In particular, the episode contains a reference to “making corn-holes” and then “corn-holing” (which the Complaint describes as “slang for anal sex”), within the context of discussions of a corn baller, an implement for making popcorn balls….

PTC complains about four scenes contained in the November 16, 2003, episode of Arrested Development. After review of the Complaint and the videotape of the episode, we conclude that the material is not patently offensive, as defined by Commission precedent, because the cited dialogue is neither sufficiently graphic nor explicit. As PTC acknowledges in its Complaint, virtually all of the language to which it objects was edited from the program prior to broadcast, so that it is not decipherable by viewers. The remaining non-edited language cited in the Complaint as sexual innuendo is ambiguous. Consequently, we conclude that the material in question is not indecent.

Saving Private Ryan

Any consideration of government action against allegedly indecent programming must take into account the fact that such speech is protected under the First Amendment. The federal courts consistently have upheld Congress’s authority to regulate the broadcast of indecent speech, as well as the Commission’s interpretation and implementation of the governing statute.

Nevertheless, the First Amendment is a critical constitutional limitation that demands that, in such terminations, we proceed cautiously and with appropriate restraint….

Contextual considerations are critical in making indecency determinations for two reasons, both of which implicate the First Amendment interests at stake. First, context is important in determining the potential impact of the allegedly indecent material on children – the compelling governmental interest that the Supreme Court held justified regulation of broadcast indecency….

Second, we must consider context in order to minimize intrusion into broadcasters’ speech. Although the courts have upheld Congress’ authority to regulate the broadcast of indecent speech and the Commission’s implementation of the governing statute,31 we must nevertheless proceed with “due respect for the high value our Constitution places on freedom and choice in what the people say and hear.”

…Essential to the ability of the filmmaker to convey to viewers the extraordinary conditions in which the soldiers conducted themselves with courage and skill are the reactions of these ordinary Americans to the barbaric situations in which they were placed. The expletives uttered by these men as these events unfold realistically reflect the soldiers’ strong human reactions to, and, often, revulsion at, those unspeakable conditions and the peril in which they find themselves. Thus, in context, the dialogue, including the complained-of material, is neither gratuitous nor in any way intended or used to pander, titillate or shock.

Will and Grace

“This episode contains a lot of references to drug use and some graphic sexual content.” After review of the Complaint and a videotape of the subject episode provided by the PTC, we find that the material is not “patently offensive.”





New Head of Cable Association Says No to FCC

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 28, 2005 @ 8:41 am
Filed under: General

Kyle McSlarrow, the incoming president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, has vowed to fight FCC attempts to regulate the content of cable networks.

“I’ve got three boys and there’s a lot on TV I don’t want them to watch,” he said. But he’s comfortable with the channel-blocking technology cable offers parents. “I don’t want to start making decisions about what other people watch.”

McSlarrow Takes Reins at NCTA




Oscar Says No to SpongeBob Spoof

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 27, 2005 @ 11:34 am
Filed under: General, Obscene!, Right Watch

At tonight’s Oscars, Robin Williams was to sing an homage to Dobsonesque cartoon controversies, penned by lyricist Marc Shaiman. ABC censors blanched, and demanded changes. Shaiman complied.

ABC then demanded more changes.

When the song was whittled to a ditty as comedic as “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Shaiman gave up.

You won’t be hearing the song tonight.




India’s Censorship Chairman on Censorship’s Benefits

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 27, 2005 @ 10:29 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld

Malaysia News Online




Columnist to Media: Grow a Spine

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 27, 2005 @ 10:12 am
Filed under: General, Obscene!, FCC

Florida colunmist Eric Deggans laments. We are at the point where a PBS affiliate’s decision not to censor soldiers talking like soldiers is considered “courageous.”

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Morals mavens echo ranting of fascist times

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 27, 2005 @ 10:04 am
Filed under: FCC

A freelance writer from Maine gets all Tom Joad about censorship:

…[E]xtreme, government-sanctioned fascism has a subtle sister who walks among us from generation to generation with a sweet smile.

She takes the form of school board members who want “The Catcher in The Rye” burned and “intelligent design” written into your children’s school books.

She is at the president’s side in the campaigns, whispering into his ear, hiring the swift-boat cretins, buying and selling lies on the Internet.

She’ll sit on her hands tonight and sulk as Mel Gibson’s whip-and-snip blood-o-rama gets mentioned only for best makeup. But she won’t go away. Every time a book is banned, she’ll be there. Every time a network knuckles under, she’ll giggle with glee. Every time a studio head passes on a film because it’s “controversial,” her eyes glisten with victory. She’ll be back.

Morals mavens echo ranting of fascist times




People for the American Way on Dobson Dynasty

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 26, 2005 @ 1:48 pm
Filed under: General

“Dobson’s stance – equating tolerance with evil – reflects the extremism of his policy positions and his unforgiving stance toward those who disagree with him. While his comments about SpongeBob were deserving of ridicule, Dobson must not be dismissed as a buffoon. In fact, it is urgently important that journalists and other Americans pay closer attention to the positions Dobson promotes – and his influence with the politicians he is helping get elected.”

PFAW Report.




High School Yearbook Photo Censored

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 26, 2005 @ 12:02 pm
Filed under: Obscene!, Off-Topic

“County school officials are backing a principal’s decision to bar a picture of a lesbian student dressed in a tuxedo from the high school yearbook.

Sam Ward, principal of Fleming Island High School, said he pulled the senior class picture because Kelli Davis was wearing boy’s clothes. His decision was debated Thursday at a Clay County school board meeting that drew 200 people, but the board took no action, and Superintendent David Owens said the decision will stand. “

Lesbian’s Picture in Tux Cut From Yearbook




Urgent Action: PTC fights CSI (sticky)

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 6:48 pm
Filed under: Action, FCC

The PTC has begun lobbying the FCC for maximum fines against CBS and its affiliates as punishment for the February 17th episode of CSI. (Read the very detailed, and very bogus, PTC complaint. Or, watch the clip.)

The CSI episode in question dealt with the death of a Vegas casino magnate who happened to have a diaper fetish. While it certainly wouldn’t have received the PTC seal of approval, neither was it indecent.

Be the equal and opposite reaction. Tell the FCC that OUR “contemporary community standards” were not violated.

Send your letter now from https://speakspeak.org/letter/

(This form letter contains more political opining than usual. This was done as a point-counterpoint address of the PTC’s boilerplate complaint. Please read the letter entirely to make sure you agree, and feel free to change the letter to suit your own opinions. Personalized letters work best.)




Religious Broadcasters Fear Stricter Indecency Enforcement

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 2:31 pm
Filed under: General

“The nation’s religious broadcasters aren’t backing the new indecency-enforcement legislation that passed in the House, fearing a time when their on-air preaching could be redefined as indecent.”

In Broadcasting and Cable.




Moyers on Bozell, et alia

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 11:18 am
Filed under: General, PTC

You write a lot about the right-wing media and right-wing Christianity. Is there a connection there, and do you find it odd that the right-wing conservative networks have led the charge in smutifying the airwaves and that they led the T&A quotient?

Moyers: It’s so interesting that one of the chief critics of smut in television, Brent Bozell, who runs a right-wing media watch group [Media Research Center], is silent when it comes to the public standards of Rupert Murdoch’s sleaze empire. They do have a double standard. They are silent about the fact that it’s capitalism, and that it’s the media tycoons who are polluting the public sphere.

To what extent do you feel that the left has ignored that issue at their own peril? That there is a genuine and sincere outrage over the pornification of the airwaves and that it’s not just right-wing Christians who are offended?

Moyers: This is not a monolithic country, contrary to what people feel. This is not a left or a right country. The networks wouldn’t be making money if there wasn’t a large percentage of people who watch and appreciate that stuff.

Read the entire interview in the Santa Barbara Independent.

(And read how Bozell slammmed “Wild Bill” earlier this week.)




FCC Denies Indecency Complaint Against Angel

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 10:42 am
Filed under: General, FCC

“PTC complains about two scenes - several minutes apart– during the November 19, 2003, episode of Angel. We have attached PTC’s Complaint which summarizes these scenes from the subject episode. After review of the Complaint and the videotape of the episode provided by PTC, we conclude that the material is not “patently offensive'’ as defined by Commission precedent, because the cited material is not sufficiently graphic or explicit. Both scenes are brief. Neither scene at issue contains any nudity and neither is sufficiently graphic or explicit to render the program patently offensive as measured by contemporary community
standards. Consequently, we conclude that the material in question is not indecent.”

Read the decision.




More Fun with Buster

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 9:39 am
Filed under: Buster

Spellings, the Madame Defarge of President Bush’s administration, huffed and puffed that many parents “would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in this episode.'’

Uh, “lifestyles,'’ Madame Secretary?

Buster shares some cheesecake with the women, not Rosie O’Donnell’s luffa. Who knew that indulging in cheesecake was part of the - all together now - homosexual agenda?

Spellings appears to believe some 4-year-old girl watching this brief segment would turn to her mother and say: “Mommy, I want to be a lesbian and eat cheesecake, too!”

Daniel Ruth in the Tampa Tribune.




Self-Censorship in Cambodia

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 9:19 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the editor says his station has reduced its coverage of oppositionists and has been more receptive to official releases from government. He added that the Ministry of Information now wants the station to record all its newscasts and to submit the same to the ministry every month… Meanwhile, the broadcast media is still strictly under government control or influence.

When it’s across the globe, it’s “repression.”

When it’s at home, it’s “family values.”

At International Freedom of Expression Exchange.




India Censor Board Cuts “Harmful” Scenes

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 25, 2005 @ 9:07 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld

The Film Censor Board of India has scrubbed scenes from the Hindi film “Shabd” because of complaints from the Sikh community that those scenes were “ridiculous and offended the Sikh sentiments.”

The Times of India.




Take That, You Ashcroft!

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 24, 2005 @ 2:58 pm
Filed under: General, Obscene!

Oscar-nominated Sideways, like other films, has been overdubbed to strip profanity during its in-flight screenings. Turns out the actors inserted a colorful alternative to one of the dirty, dirty words.




Big Budget Egyptian Movie Highlights a Changing Society

Posted by John Torrey
February 24, 2005 @ 11:22 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld

“The controversial, best-selling Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building describes a country that is corrupt, unfair and thuggish.” NPR’s Robert Siegel reports on how this movie made it past Egyptian censors and becomes the first to portray a gay relationship between two Egyptian men — in this case one of them is a police officer. Although the movie is being made, it may not be a signal that the Egyptian government is shifting to allow more freedom of speech… just freedom of talk, as explained by the book’s author Alaa Al Aswany.

Read and hear the whole story from All Things Considered.




Right Hand, Meet Left Hand

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 24, 2005 @ 11:21 am
Filed under: General, Right Watch

A Focus on the Family offshoot says that Hollywood is actually producing more family friendly, Christian-positive movies — up to 45% of H’wood’s total output, they say. (Up from 1% in 1984 )

Maybe they need to send a memo to Brent Bozell…?




Right Hands Out Rotten Bananas

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 24, 2005 @ 11:12 am
Filed under: General, Right Watch

It’s Oscar week, and the Christian Film Commission is has named its Rotten Banana Award winners.

Rotten Bananas go to films that post the anti trifecta — they “contribute to an immoral culture” by being anti-human, anti-God, and anti-Jesus.

This year’s winners include “Million Dollar Baby,” “Kinsey,” “Farenheit 9/11,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” and “Saved!”

The complete honor roll….




India Proposes Official TV Watchdogs

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 24, 2005 @ 9:14 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld

“If Information and Broadcasting Minister Jaipal Reddy has his way, television censorship will pass into the hands of an independent Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India… That will mean the panel comprising specialists will have to sift through 15,070 hours of feature films and 20,881 hours of news.”

In the Indian Express.

If it happens across the globe, it’s repression. If it happens at home, it’s “family values.”




Frank Rich Indecency Roundup

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 24, 2005 @ 9:06 am
Filed under: General, Buster

From Oscar to Homer, Buster to Bozell: Frank Rich.




How to Speak Up in Nepalese

Posted by Amanda Toering
February 24, 2005 @ 9:05 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld

After a recent government takeover in Nepal, King Gyandendra shut down the free press and severed telephone communications.

But Nepalese journalists are finding ways around the censorship — through their blogs.