SpeakSpeak News


“Buster” Family Turns Lesbianism into Lemonade

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 3:57 pm

The now-famous two-mother Vermont family that once hosted an afternoon with Buster is going strong – and has polished the silver lining of the Buster contoversy.

Emma, the girl who had a chat with Buster during the episode – and who has two moms – was initially shocked when she heard that the program might not air. “She was told it’s not going to run,” said Mom #1, “and it’s not because you didn’t do a good job. It’s because the government officials don’t think your family is appropriate for other kids to know about.”

Her best friend Lily, who also has two moms, was shocked as well: “It’s not unnormal, is it?”

After the dust settled a bit, Emma had interviews with the New York Times and The Washington Post.

According to the Portland Press Herald:

The irony of the flap over the show is that it has drawn far more attention to the lives of the two families than the show itself probably would have had it aired as planned.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have been exposed to this story . . This is a much bigger issue than ‘Does Buster get to run?’ ” [Emma’s mother, Karen] Pike said.

“They realize now that this was much bigger,” Pike said of how the children’s disappointment and anger has given them a chance to speak publicly. “Not only did they get to show off Vermont, they got to make a statement.”

In the Portland Press Herald.

Indecency Debate Intensifies

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 3:42 pm

Bozell believes that both sides of the aisle are united on the issue.

An industry lawyer believes that “the commission and Congress are locked in a political spiral that provides no avenue of relief,” and that the debate will certainly end up in court.

New FCC Chairman Kevin Martin believes that broadcasters First Amendment rights are perhaps trumped by their responsibility to display good taste.

It’s all in the International Herald Tribune.

Kiwis Debate Slippery Slope of Free Speech

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 11:33 am

No, not that kiwi, or this kiwi.

These Kiwis.

Their government has just passed a law that would ostensibly stiffen child porn laws, but would also place age restrictions on certain material that might be harmful to minors – even if the “harm” only consists of foul language. (See also, Utah.)

Some New Zealanders applaud the law as an effort to protect children. Others worry that the law, as written, could put limits on mere mentions of such controversial topics as homosexuality.

From the New Zealand Herald.

San Antonio Group To Screen Buster

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 10:17 am

The Esperanza Center, a political justice organization in San Antonio, will give Buster Bunny his film festival debut this week. The CineMujer festival will “highlight the hopes, the struggles and the perseverance of women around the world.”

The Esperanzas are planning a “surprise special screening of the censored ‘Sugartime!’ episode.” San Antonio’s PBS affiliate, KLRN, refused to air the episode.

Though no date and time for the screening have been announced, the festival will also feature the Australian film “Rabbit Proof Fence.” Smart money’s on a tie-in.

From the San Antonio Express-News and the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center.

India Revokes TV License for Obscenity

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 10:04 am

The Indian government has revoked the license of a television station accused of airing “obscene movies.” Descriptions of the offending content are notable absent from news reports, although a wire service points out that a station was criticized last week for airing footage of a popular actor demanding sex from a TV reporter (who was pretending to be an aspiring starlet).

Meanwhile, India is in the process of creating a government agency to monitor and regulate television content – thus protecting India’s traditionally conservative culture from offensive broadcasts.

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

From various wire reports.

Free Press, or Disrespectful Press?

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 9:47 am

In the wake of the Red Lake, Minnesota, school shooting, media outlets are grumbling over the tribal government’s restrictions on their news-gathering. According to the Michigan Morning Sun, the tribe required reporters to stay on Red Lake’s main highway, prohibited them from knocking on residents’ doors, and asked to review press dispatches before publication. The press is crying ‘censorship’ and, according to the Morning Sun, citizens are being kept in the dark.

Free speech should apply, even after tragedy, The Morning Sun.

Yahoo Hones First Amendment Argument

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 03/27/2005 @ 9:38 am

A current court case is pitting the American ideal of free seech on the internet against speech prohibited in other countries. The debate centers on a Yahoo auction of Nazi memorabilia. A Paris court has fined Yahoo for selling the Nazi souvenirs to French citizens. Purchase of Nazi paraphernalia is prohibited by French law (but protected by the First Amendment).

More at the LA Times.

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