February 11, 2006

Egypt Bans Racy Music Videos

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 31, 2005 @ 6:46 am
Filed under: CensorWorld

In a parallel to the Parents Television Council’s attack on MTV’s juvenile taste, Egypt has initiated its own crack down on music videos.

The state censorship committee has banned “music videos that featured sexual connotations and females barely dressed, stressing that that even the words sung by the singers held no meaning and were basically gibberish. The committee refused requests by producers to eliminate some of the inappropriate scenes and allow the clips to be aired, stressing that if singers wanted their songs aired they must reproduce the entire clip in a suitable matter fit to be aired and watched.”

When it happens in Egypt, it’s “repression.” When it happens here, it’s “family values.”

In Al Bawaba.


Toledo Professor Addresses Censorship in Film

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 31, 2005 @ 6:41 am
Filed under: General

University of Toledo professor Tammy Kinsey has developed an academic look at the history of film censorship.

Ms. Kinsey only teaches [the class] every other year (this semester, about 20 students, mostly film majors, are enrolled), and she’s discovered, she said, that the only way to discuss honestly what can’t be shown and what can’t be said is to say it and to show it — and then discuss it.

“I shock them in ways they wouldn’t even imagine, I think.”

In the Toldeo Blade.


TownHall: Does the First Amendment Protect Expression We Hate?

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 31, 2005 @ 6:33 am
Filed under: Right Watch

Today’s “activist judge alert” comes from TownHall.com.

“Does the U.S. Constitution really protect the distribution of graphic—even hard-core pornographic—videos depicting rape and murder? Unfortunately, a U.S. District Court judge in Pittsburgh seems to think so.”

Where is that in the Constitution?


Chris Rock: It’s All Janet’s Fault

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 30, 2005 @ 6:37 pm
Filed under: General

Chris Rock blames Janet Jackson for the creeping tide of censorship we’re seeing.

In ContactMusic.


PTC Attacks MTV Advertisers

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 30, 2005 @ 6:17 pm
Filed under: PTC

According to Broadcasting & Cable, the Parents Television Council has written to MTV’s top 10 advertisers, demanding that they justify their business relationships with the network. You may recall that the PTC recently performed a groundbreaking “study” of MTV, in which it determined that the network’s programming was a bit sophomoric.

“These companies are directly responsible for the raunchy programming poisoning the minds of impressionable children,” says Brent Bozell on the PTC website. “We are calling on these sponsors to explain why they choose to support a network that contains substantially more sex, foul language and violence than any broadcast television program aimed at adults. These companies must be held accountable for underwriting this material.”

The PTC provides a list of the advertisers, as well as the products they’ve hawked. Proctor and Gamble ranks number one. And the offending product at the top of P&G’s ad list?

Wait for it….


Also on the list are Hersheys, GE, Johnson & Johnson, and Colgate (whose execs apparently have the audacity to market toothpaste to young people).


Kids Need More Education on Amendment #1

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 30, 2005 @ 8:21 am
Filed under: General
  • Nearly 75 percent of students surveyed either do not know how they feel about the First Amendment or admit they take it for granted;
  • 75 percent falsely believe it is illegal to burn the U.S. flag as a form of public statement; and,
  • 50 percent think the government can censor the Internet.

Heartland Foundation: High School Students Apathetic, Unknowledgeable About First Amendment.


Dallas Man: Hollywood Out of Touch, Kinda Evil

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 30, 2005 @ 8:16 am
Filed under: General

Says a Dallas Morning News op-ed penned by a suburbanite: Hollywood is responsible for divorce rates. And lung cancer. And probably a whole lotta other things.

Hollywood is a world away from our values.

1 Comment

Georgetown U Student: I Am Not a Child, Do Not Need Protection

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 30, 2005 @ 8:10 am
Filed under: General

A Georgetown University student comments on a sicko MTV series — and her right as an adult to watch it.

The FCC Won’t Let Me Be.


Fox President Laments “Indecency” Confusion, Self-Censorship

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 4:51 pm
Filed under: FCC

Speaking to an Arkansas Rotary Club, Fox TV President Ed Wilson expressed concern about the FCC crackdown on so-called indecency.

Wilson said he is personally more conservative with what he would like to show on television, [ while] others at the network like to push the envelope. In the end, he said he believes networks must give viewers information about how they can decide for themselves what’s suitable for themselves and their families to watch.

“They put on ‘off’ button on televisions for a reason,” Wilson said, adding that parents must be the first line of defense in guarding against indecency. He said devices such as the V-chip, which are included in modern televisions and can be programmed to filter certain content, are tools parents should use.

From ArkansasBusiness.com

1 Comment

Columbia Journalism Review: TV Content Wars Inevitable

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 9:12 am
Filed under: Action

Reminding us that we’ve got keep our noses to our collective grindstone, the Columbia Journalism Review analyzes the indecency battles on the horizon. (via Media Savvy)

As for the more headline-friendly issue of fines for indecent content, [new chair Kevin] Martin has traditionally taken a much harder line. As a commissioner, he frequently criticized Powell’s fines as being too lenient. The New York Times noted recently that Martin “has taken the most aggressive approach in indecency cases, dissenting from a series of opinions in which the agency either found no violation or did not issue what he believed was a significant enough punishment.” This, of course, has made him popular with a vocal minority of conservative activist groups, particularly the Parents Television Council (PTC).

Don’t let the “vocal minority” win.

Being in the majority means nothing if you don’t speak up.

Remind Kevin Martin that we’re out here, and that his job is to weigh the standards of the community. We are the community.

Speak up!


Media Concentration, Indecency Complaints Are Natural Bedfellows

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 8:52 am
Filed under: General

Our friend Jonathan Rintels at the Center for Creative Voices in the Media points to an examination of the relationship between media ownership and consumer complaints.

Linking Concentration and Indecency


Colorado School Pulls Articles on Teen Sexuality

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 8:34 am
Filed under: General

An Arvada, CO, school district has prohibited the school newspaper from running articles discussing birth control and STDs — including an article that claimed abstinence as the only foolproof form of birth control.

The school says the issue was not censorship, but miscommunication.

In the Denver Post.


Nepalese Journalists Fight for Free Press

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 8:27 am
Filed under: CensorWorld

Journalists in Nepal are rallying in the streets, demanding an end to press censorship and the release of imprisoned journalists. The Nepalese press has been in a state of turmoil since the King deposed his government and claimed absolute power in early February.

The state-run newspaper called the protests “unjustifiable journalistic perversion.”

In the Hindustan Times.


LA Times: Hollywood Endures Political Storm

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 8:23 am
Filed under: General

1) Volcanoes = blasphemous
2) Crawford, TX = hip & vibrant
3) UN = protector of possibly pipsqueakish people
4) MTV = the abstinence channel

These are the new rules of the road. Study up at the LA Times.

Political storm cloud hangs over Hollywood


Bozell Bangs Same Ol’ Drum, Part 2

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 29, 2005 @ 8:05 am
Filed under: Right Watch, PTC

In a Christian Science Monitor op-ed, Parents Television Council prez Brent Bozell restates his case. Man, he is really proud of that Time Magazine article.

Bozell points out, again, that Hollywood is “out of touch” with most Americans. This is, of course, a stark change from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Back then, when Cary Grant wore a tuxedo to breakfast and every Katherine Hepburn character lived in a New York penthouse apartment, Hollywood was very definitely in-touch.

And think back to the innocuous sitcom years, the years that Bozell seems to want to want to revisit in the wayback machine. Jeannie and Major Nelson? A little slice of America wrapped up in a 20″ box. Green Acres and the Beverly Hillbillies? Why, all Americans have a little corn pone in their souls. And what about The Flying Nun? Now that was wholesome, realistic entertainment. Hollywood sure was in touch back then.

Note to Bozell: Hollywood makes a business of staying in touch. Hollywood exists, in fact, to make a business. If 30 million people didn’t watch CSI every week, CBS would re-tool the series and make it more Highway to Heaven-ish.

There’s a reason that Desperate Housewives is currently the most-watched show. That reason is not that American women are seeking instruction on how to release their inner slut. The reason is that we like to be entertained. We like to take our mind off our own dreary lives and — if only for an hour — immerse ourselves in a life we probably will never lead. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Bozell, Hollywood is not out of touch. You are.

Ahem. Anyhow, read Bozell’s piece in the CSM.

Hollywood, do you hear America griping?

1 Comment

Help Fight the Indecency Fighters (sticky)

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 10:16 pm
Filed under: General

Fighting indecency complaints, fighting groups like the Parents Television Council, doesn’t mean you’re advocating for prime-time smut. It doesn’t mean you’re a pervert. It doesn’t mean you hate America.

It means you believe in free speech. It means you know how to turn your television off. It means you don’t want a group of mobilized politicos to determine what is or isn’t suitable entertainment for you and your family.

So fight it. Speak up.

Help us help you fight.

SpeakSpeak is entirely volunteer-run. We’re as grassroots as it gets, baby. We’re building a coalition of people like you who are fed up with government censorship (un-American), right-wing intolerance (un-Christian), and general cultural idiocy (un-Smart).

Help us.

Support SpeakSpeak. It only takes $5, or $10, or $whatever. And it’s a donation that matters.

Regardless of your ability to donate, speak up now!

Ask incoming FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to stand up for free speech.

In 2004, the FCC fined broadcasters over $8 million for indecency violations. But in recent months, the FCC denied over 40 indecency complaints filed by groups like the Parents Television Council.

In order to give life to this trend of sensible action on the part of the FCC, you need to speak up.

If you don’t, who will?

It takes approximately 42 seconds.

Speak up now.


Focus on the Family: In Hollywood, Christian Missionaries’ Positions Successful

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 4:15 pm
Filed under: Right Watch

Agape Press reports that a program to train Christians to become Hollywood execs and writers, and to infiltrate major studios, has been a success.

“There was a realization that there is a need for more Christians behind the desks at the studios and the networks,” the director of the project said. “People who have the authority to choose which projects get made and which don’t.”

Part of the program, he says, is “to include training that deals with the dangers inherent in Hollywood’s infamous culture.”

“We’re trying to raise up leaders who know how to be in the world of entertainment,” the director explained, “but not of it.”

Conservatives Infiltrating Hollywood, at Focus on the Family.


Alaskan Dad Challenges Allende’s “House of the Spirits”

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 1:39 pm
Filed under: Book Bans

An Anchorage man is challenging a school district’s decision to include Isabel Allende’s “House of the Spirits” in his son’s AP English class. The man’s 17-year-old son was disturbed by the novel’s magical realism, including the main character’s ability to levitate.

From the Anchorage Daily News (via Blog of a Bookslut).


TV Gets Religion

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 1:25 pm
Filed under: General

From the Wall Street Journal: Broadcasters are hoping to reach a niche market with religious-themed programming.


Business Week: GOP/FCC Treading Dangerous Waters

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 1:11 pm
Filed under: General

A Business Week columnist asserts that the public is not too keen on the idea of cable and satellite indecency regulation, and that the GOP could be in for a rude awakening at the polls should it continue the drive.

FCC and GOP May Over Reach If They Go After Cable TV, Business Week.


Russian Art Curators Fined for “Insulting and Blasphemous” Exhibit

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 12:55 pm
Filed under: CensorWorld

The New York Times Reports that a Russian court has ruled against a museum director and curator for an art exhibit that some felt was critical of the Russian Orthodox Church. After the installation opened, six men from the Orthodox church stormed the museum and ransacked the exhibit.

Criminal charges against those men were dropped; the issue was tried based on case law that set the foundations for prosecuting artists who “offend the faithful.”

From the New York Times.


Censors Say the Darnedest Things

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 9:54 am
Filed under: General

Paul McMasters, of the First Amendment Center, writes about censorship in the Naples (FL) Daily News.

For some government officials, the temptation to censor is sometimes irresistible. They are convinced that some Americans just can’t be trusted with freedom of speech — high school students, library patrons, artists and others who, they believe, should be just sort-of citizens when it comes to First Amendment protections.

Power in the hands of the censor, of course, is like a chainsaw in the hands of a fool. Something is going to get mangled sooner or later. Often it is logic and common sense.

For example, we usually think of the censor’s wrath as directed at obscenity, hate speech, violence in the media, that sort of thing. More often, however, the target of the censor is much more mundane and the reasons given for suppression much more convoluted than we have a right to expect.

Inside the First Amendment: Censors say the darnedest things


Editorial: What Price, Censorship?

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 9:49 am
Filed under: General

The Detroit Free Press has this to say about the possibility of increased indecency fines:

Most parents rightly want their children shielded from the dicey language, sexual innuendo and seamy behavior that sometimes erupt on the airwaves. Heck, lots of adults cringe at this stuff.

But until more people turn off the TV than sit vacuously in front of it, the situation won’t change. Bigger fines won’t stop cultural drivel. Changing the channel is the marketplace, consumer-driven solution — without the downside of having networks shy away from serious topics for fear of offending someone in Washington.

From the Freep.


Yellow Cabs Say No to Blue Ads

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 9:39 am
Filed under: General

New York’s Yellow Cabs will no longer sport strip club ads. Clear Channel, the owner of the cab top ads, has decided that the sexy ads are bad business.

From the NY Post (via I Want Media).


India May Okay Foreign Papers

Posted by Amanda Toering
March 28, 2005 @ 9:35 am
Filed under: CensorWorld

The Indian government is considering lifting a 50-year ban on the publication of foreign newspapers. While India has not historically banned the sale of foreign news media, it has forbidden foreign papers to be printed in India. Papers printed in neighboring countries are typically delivered during the next day’s news cycle.

“Our mind is now not as closed to the publication of foreign newspapers as it has been,” said S. Jaipal Reddy, minister for information, broadcasting and culture, at a seminar on the newspaper industry on Thursday. “We have not yet taken a view, but the uncertainty should lift within a month or so.”

Lifting the ban on foreign newspapers – will India cross the bridge? (via I Want Media)


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