SpeakSpeak News


Tarantino Cuts Joke from CSI Finale

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/12/2005 @ 8:49 pm

In what is likely to be a major disappointment to those with a LauraBush sense of humor, Quentin Tarantino has agreed to cut a beastiality joke from the CSI season finale, which he directed.

Tarantino says, “It was this funny piece of dialogue… The producers loved it but told me CBS didn’t think bestiality is a fine topic for prime time.”

From ContactMusic.

New Republic on V-Chip

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/12/2005 @ 8:45 pm

The New Republic explores the strengths and shortfalls of the V-chip.

A recurring point in critiques of the V-chip is precisely this deficit in consumer knowledge. To the PTC, however, ignorance about the V-chip isn’t unfortunate–it’s desirable. Intent on an all-out jihad on the entertainment industry, the PTC sees V-chip education as a threat to its vision. Nothing lets the air out of a scorched-earth campaign faster than a popular, less overreaching alternative. What the PTC fears specifically is what V-chip users and studies like the Kaiser survey have found: that when used properly, the V-chip works pretty well. Indeed, of parents who have used the V-chip, 61 percent found it “very” useful, while another 28 percent said it was “somewhat” useful–hardly the numbers you would expect from a “failure.” Predicated on the idea of parental empowerment, the V-chip offers a narrowly tailored approach that caters to parents’ needs without invoking censorship fears. For groups like the PTC, that narrowness is precisely the problem–nothing less than a cultural upheaval will do, even if it means trampling on the First Amendment.

While not perfect–the ratings do need refinement, useful though they are in their current form–the V-chip is an unambiguous boon to America’s parents. But the PTC continues to live in denial, refusing to accept that millions of Americans find the V-chip beneficial. In a recent column, Bozell called the V-chip a “red herring.” He’s right, of course: For the group’s purposes, it is a distraction. However, if the ultimate goal is to help parents, it is the PTC’s mission to discredit the V-chip that is the red herring. Choosing strident extremism over common sense, the nannies of the right are turning their backs on a perfectly decent solution to the “indecency” problem.

‘Our Family Tree’ Chopped Down

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/12/2005 @ 8:43 pm

Officials at a Monticello, MN, elementary school have canceled an appearance by children’s book author Lisa Westberg Peters.

Peters popular book, “Our Family Tree,” was deemed too controversial by the school’s principal because it deals with evolution.

“It’s a cute book. There’s nothing wrong with it. We just don’t need that kind of debate,” said Brad Sanderson, principal at Pinewood Elementary.

The book’s author is crying censorship.

“Once you start censoring, it’s a slippery slope. Are geology and physics next? You have to stop it right away,” said Peters, who won a Minnesota Book Award for “Our Family Tree,” published in 2003.

More at the Star Tribune.

Censorship from A to Z

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/12/2005 @ 8:34 pm

Stevens, Rockefeller, insatiable censorship machine, Bozell, “family friendly,” Laura Bush, horse jokes, Kevin Martin, Buster Bunny, volunteerism, Marjorie Heins, George Carlin, Jon Rintles, indecency regulation on the Internet….

Apparently it never occurred to Martin that parents can always change the channel. Or turn off the TV altogether. Of course, such a radical step would put Brent Bozell out of business, leave Kevin Martin with little to do, and strike terror into the hearts of media executives.

Come to think of it, that sounds like the best solution of all.

Dan Kennedy covers it all.

Talking Penis Not Protected by First Amendment

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/12/2005 @ 8:25 pm

It’s a sad day for gabby genitalia.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled against the producer — and, to a certain extent, star — of a cable access show. Timothy Huffman’s conviction for indecent exposure was upheld by the court. The conviction was spurred by a display of penile ventriloquism on Huffman’s cable show, “Tim’s Area of Control.”

Tim, his puppet, and his ACLU rep appealed. (Previous story here.) The Michigan Court, however, determined that Tim’s charade required “incidental restriction” on the First Amendment “no greater than is essential to the furtherance of the governmental interest in promoting public morality by prohibiting public nudity.”

“We asked them in court, ‘Why don’t you prosecute Schindler’s List? It has nudity,’” Huffman said. “And they said to me - “You’re no Steven Spielberg.”

“I’m the low-life scapegoat that they can say, ‘Look. This is what happens when you put this stuff on Grand Rapids TV.’”

Huffman was sentenced to one day in jail, a year probation and ordered to pay $1,035 in fines and court costs.

The Detroit Free Press has the skinny.

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