SpeakSpeak News


‘Bama Still Thinking on Gay Book Ban

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

An Alabama legislator is still trying to pass a bill that would ban “gay” books – in this case, any book written by a gay author or that features gay characters.

[Representative Gerald] Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can’t define what a classic is. Also exempted now Alabama’s public and college libraries.


In book after book, Allen reads what he calls the “homosexual agenda,” and he’s alarmed.

“It’s not healthy for America, it doesn’t fit what we stand for,” says Allen. “And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal.”

He says he sees this as a line in the sand.

At CBS News.

Martin Appears Before Congress

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:49 am

During hearings on the FCC’s budgetary requests, lawmakers pushed FCC chair Kevin Martin on the indecency issue.

It’s got to be more than giving speeches,” said Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Science, State, Commerce, Justice and Related Agencies, the panel that governs FCC appropriations.

Martin pointed out that he has long been on record supporting a an hour nightly prime time broadcast block for family-friendly viewing (the so-called family hour) and has called on cable operators to sell family-themed tiers of programming. He promised to provide more leadership on the issue now that he is FCC chairman.

From Broadcasting & Cable.

When Does Regulation Become Censorship?

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:46 am

No new news here, but at least they pose the question.

A ban on TV indecency is the latest rage – but will it turn into censorship? from the Associated Press (in the Detroit News)

Bay Windows Update

Filed under by Chris Zammarelli — 04/27/2005 @ 9:43 am

Dan Kennedy is reporting at his weblog that Bay Windows will be back in Stop & Shop and Shaw’s as early as this week. The two stores had stopped carrying the gay and lesbian newspaper because of its explicit personal ads.

Bay Windows is apparently dropping them.

Orlando Sentinel: Kids Are Buttheads, and It’s TV’s Fault

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:40 am

It’s official.

Television is to blame for all of the unpleasantries of adolescence – and all the unpleasantness of adolescents.

It must be true. It’s in the newspaper.

Though most TV watchdog groups fret about violence and sex on television, some parents say they’re increasingly concerned about TV’s attitude problem. From cartoons to sitcoms, the stars are now sassy children who deliver flip one-liners, put down authority figures and revel in a laugh track.

And their attitudes are contagious. Formerly polite kids are smart-alecky, eye-rolling and harrumphing, just like the kids on television. In Jean and Brian Martin’s Longwood home, that behavior came to a quick halt after Jean began paying close attention to her children’s TV diet. What she found were shows full of wiseacre kids and nonexistent (or worse, dumb) parents.

Not So Funny, Orlando Sentinel

Bozell Hasn’t Seen It Yet, But He Hates It

Filed under
  • PTC
  • Cable/Satellite
by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:33 am

Later today, the cable industry will reveal its plan for increasing parental control over kiddos’ viewing habits. The program will include public service announcements on over 100 cable channels, informing parents of channel blocking and locking technologies already available to them. (Recent reports have shown that many parents not only have no idea how to work technologies already in their homes – many didn’t even know they had them.)

Bozell is not impressed. Though the program has yet to be unveiled, he says the plan is “much ado about nothing.” Interesting, since he created the ado in the first place.

In USA Today.

The Nation on PBS (Soon to Be ‘RBS’)

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:27 am

It’s only a matter of time, The Nation’s Ari Berman says, until PBS changes its name to the Republican Broadcasting System.

Religion Professor Expunged Over SpongeBob

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:25 am

A religion professor at Hope College, a private liberal arts school in Michigan, has resigned amid controversy created when he criticized James Dobson for outing a certain cartoon character. (Hint: It was the absorbent guy who wears geometrical britches.)

After professor Miguel de la Torre published a column in the local paper ridiculing Dobson, the president of the college sent de la Torre a letter stating that the column had “irreparably damaged the reputation of Hope in our community.”

And here’s an excerpt from the column that so sullied the institution:

Yes folks, Dobson outed SpongeBob during an inaugural feast held last week for members of Congress. It appears that SpongeBob joined other so-called “gay lovers” like Winnie the Pooh, Kermit the Frog and Barney ton a new video asking children to take a “tolerance pledge” – a pledge to show dignity and respect for those who are different, whether it be different gender, race, ethnicity, faith and yes, orientation. Heaven forbid we teach our children to demonstrate agape (unconditional) love toward those who are different, when fear and ignorance are more useful tools for winning elections.

Nevertheless, our fear of gays requires we smoke them out and persecute them even if it endangers the security of our nation.

More at The Grand Rapids Press.

Religion’s Renaissance

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/27/2005 @ 9:08 am

The Index on Censorship explores religion’s worldwide rebirth in public life:

Since the Enlightenment, the seemingly relentless march of secular modernism had squeezed religion out of public life and left it, if not dead, then hidden in the private realm. It did not seem too fantastical then to argue, as Nietzsche was doing, that God had ceased to be a reckoning force in the lives of most people.

Two centuries on, and it seems that rumours of the death of God were exaggerated. The recent furores over the broadcasting of Jerry Springer: the Opera and the cancellation of the play Behzti suggest that God, or more accurately religious belief, has made an unexpected return into the public sphere. This is not an exclusively British phenomenon as the murder last year of a Dutch film-maker for producing a film that was considered offensive to Islam vividly demonstrated.

Just as the re-emergence of religion has been pan-national there is a similarly global challenge to the Enlightenment values of rationalism, tolerance and freedom of expression. To try to explore possible strategies for responding to this challenge it is important to explore the origins and characteristics of this new religious revivalism.

Sarfaz Manzoor’s exploration is fascinating stuff: Thou Shalt Not Offend.

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