SpeakSpeak News


Help Stop ‘Fake News,’ a.k.a. Propaganda

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 1:40 pm

The good people at FreePress are sponsoring a petition to end the government’s use of paid propagandists, from Armstrong Williams to “Jeff Gannon.”

Fight this insidious practice. Sign your name.

Owens/Sheridan Gag Not Indecent

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 11:23 am

The FCC has ruled against the PTC’s complaint regarding the Terrell Owens/Nicollette Sheridan towel-dropping incident during a Monday Night Football broadcast.

[T]he “Monday Night Football” segment, although sexually suggestive, is not
graphic or explicit. Owens is fully dressed throughout the segment, and, with the exception of a moment when her bare back is exposed to the audience, Sheridan is at all times fully covered with a towel. No sexual or excretory organs are shown or described, and no sexual activities are explicitly depicted or described. Furthermore, the scene where Sheridan drops her towel and jumps into Owens’s arms is brief. Although the scene apparently is intended to be titillating, it simply is not graphic or explicit enough to be indecent under our standard.

Commissioner Michael Copps reluctantly signed on, though he had this to say:

[The issues] does raise the issue of broadcasters acting responsibly when deciding what to air during the hours
when children are likely to be in the audience. At a time when recent surveys show that a
substantial majority of parents are very concerned that children are being exposed to too much
inappropriate content, I would hope that television broadcasters would go the extra mile in
exercising self-discipline when airing or promoting programming that may not be appropriate for
younger viewers. There wasn’t much self-discipline in this particular promotion. As stewards of
the public airwaves, broadcasters can and should do better.

FCC statement

Religious Group Sues BBC Over ‘Springer’ Opera

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 8:37 am

Broadcaster airs opera based on the Jerry Springer show. Christian group fumes, demands apology, threatens legal action. Broadcaster refuses to apologize. Christian group pursues legal action.

The Christian Institute is seeking a judicial review on two grounds, claiming firstly that the BBC has broken its royal charter, which requires it to uphold standards of taste and decency and abide by the Broadcasting Standards Commission broadcasting codes.

“The BBC has a duty to uphold the convention on human rights as a public authority. Part of what we’re saying is there may be offensive things going on in West End theatres but we’re not paying for them,” said the director of the Christian Institute, Colin Hart.

In the Guardian UK.

Romanian Media Mogul De-Secularizes the Airwaves

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:53 am

Tudor Petan, the head of a Christian broadcasting network in Romania, has some thoughts on how to use television to get through to the heathens.

“God has granted us favor with so many different producers all over the world, and I think this has created a big resurgence for Romania…During this period, I believe God’s strategy for Romania has been promoting Christian values through secular media. Until recently, we didn’t have a Christian channel in Romania. The most effective way to spread the Gospel is through media channel-local TV stations. There are many that we work with, and one channel we work with has national coverage. On an average, in Romania, we now have Christian programming on for a three-hour period per day on a channel that has national coverage.”


Christian Film and Television Commission: Sex Is Box Office Poison!

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:49 am

According to a Christian Film & Television Commission™ press release, sex is killing the box office.

An annual study of the sexual content in Hollywood movies shows that movies with explicit sex and nudity don’t sell.

Each year, the Christian Film & Television Commission™ and its monthly publication, MOVIEGUIDE®, analyzes the content of all the major movies released by Hollywood.

Only five of the Top 10 Movies at the Domestic Box Office in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, less than 15 percent, had excessive or very graphic sex in them, according to MOVIEGUIDE®’s ratings, but 25, or 63 percent, had either a moral worldview or a Christian worldview.

Also, the bigger the amount and the stronger the sex and nudity are in a movie, the worse it does at the box office.

Moviegoers Reject Films with Explicit Lewd Content.

Bozell Reviews Lesbian Hot Tub Scenes

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:45 am

Bozell reviews the WB’s new reality show, “The Starlet.”

But these exploitative titillation scenes [involving a simulated striptease] were nothing compared to the weekly screen test, where the aspirants were told they’d be filmed kissing one of their fellow contestants in the hot tub in a lesbian love scene. Show host Katie Wagner explained: “Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank and Charlize Theron have all played roles in which they’ve had to kiss other women. If they can do it, so can you.” But at least Swank and Theron played decidedly un-sexy roles in critical-darling dysfunction dramas that won Best Actress Oscars. These aspiring actresses, on the other hand, were made to reenact a soft-porn-style scene from the forgettable hot-cop drama “Fastlane,” which lasted a few weeks on Fox in 2002.

Read Bozell’s account of the steamy show he was apparently forced to watch: Starlets and Sellouts.

Newsday: Cable Smut Regulation Ain’t Gonna Happen

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:36 am

Newsday columnist Noel Holston:

This is free enterprise we’re talking about. The cable companies are not using the public airwaves. They’re delivering their products and services to our homes by way of cables laid and maintained at their expense. None of us is forced to subscribe. If anything, the monthly price of cable, even basic cable, is a disincentive. Yet upwards of 70 percent of American homes choose to pay the fee, and a sizable chunk of those pay extra to get channels that produce and show adult dramas such as “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “The L Word.”

[Senator Ted] Stevens, however, believes that the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the rule that cable systems must carry all local broadcasters’ signals, could be persuaded to make everything a cable operator transmits subject to the same rules as programs broadcast by TV stations that are federally licensed.

Follow Stevens’ logic and the DVDs we rent at Blockbuster and the books we order from the Literary Guild are as vulnerable to content restriction as programs on Spike TV or Showtime. If Comedy Central’s “South Park” isn’t First Amendment-protected speech, then neither is one of Scott Turow’s crime novels.

Gag-Cable Plan Will Go Nowhere

India Proposes TV Censorship

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:33 am

A member of India’s Parliament plans to introduct legislation that would create an autonomous censorship board for private (i.e., not state-owned) television broadcasters.

From Sify News.

Porn, Profit, and Politics

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:26 am

Broadcasting & Cable has a detailed report on the increasing momentum toward additional porn regulation. Alberto Gonzales has promised to crack down, and #5 cable company Adelphia recently decided to remove XXX flicks from its pay-per-view offerings. The evangelicals who secured Bush’s re-election are leading the charge.

As far as the National Coalition [for the Protection of Children and Families] is concerned, most pornography is already illegal—and it is time the government said so. ‘The government can censor this material. All we’re asking is that the government brings these cases and asks juries whether this content should be protected by the First Amendment. Local communities are going to say no.’

If that happens, cable accountants are likely to look at their ledgers and say Oh, no.

Target: Pay TV’s Wild Side

Stevens Backs Off Cable Regulation

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/14/2005 @ 7:16 am

According to Broadcasting & Cable, Senator Ted Stevens has backpedaled on his pledge to extend the FCC’s indecency jurisdiction to cable networks. Stevens now says he’s all for industry attempts to “self-regulate,” even if that self-regulation entails explaining to parents how to use the V-chips already present in their living rooms. Stevens also made a veiled endorsement of so-called a la carte cable packages, which would allow consumers to subscribe only to networks they actually want, as opposed to the 100-channel packages that the media congloms want them to have.

B&C: Stevens: Less-Tough Talk on Cable Indecency

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