SpeakSpeak News


Focus on the Family Starts Anti-Paris Campaign

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 3:55 pm

PTC said they probably wouldn’t, so FoF went ahead and did it. [PTC link is to Etopia conversation with Melissa Caldwell.]

Focus on the Family is urging its hangers-on to protest the Paris Hilton Carl’s Jr. ad.

The ad is filled with enough innuendo to make Freud blush.


“Parents need to express their outrage, in this case, with their wallets,” said Daniel Weiss, analyst for media and sexuality issues at Focus on the Family. “Carl’s Jr. is hoping to profit from all this publicity, but it needs to know it’s hurting families by exposing children to images like this.”

Weiss noted recent studies that found children who view sexual content on television are twice as likely to act out sexually as those who do not.

Read the screed.

HS Teacher Canned for Encouraging Students to Visit Poetry Site

Filed under
  • Schools
 by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 12:14 pm

A Texas English teacher was fired for encouraging his students to visit Poets.com, a peer-review poetry site.

The mother of one student complained that some of the user-posted poetry had “sexual content.”

From KBTV, Beaumont. (via Blog of a Bookslut)

Judge Refuses to Overturn Bakersfield School Paper Censorship

Filed under
  • Schools
 by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 11:47 am

A California judge will not order a Bakersfield high school to allow the publication of an edition of the school paper focusing on gay students. Student journalists sued after the paper’s publication was halted by school officials, and their case was handled by the ACLU.

“This is an important issue that would require an opportunity to have a full and complete hearing,” Kern County Superior Court Judge Arthur E. Wallace said Wednesday after denying the plaintiffs’ request for an emergency order that would have allowed the articles to be published in The Kernal’s May 27 year-end issue.

School officials are worried about their potential liability should gay students mentioned in the paper be harassed. However, all of the gay students mentioned by name in the paper had given permission to be featured in the story.

From the Associated Press.

Conservative Teen Sues School for Discrimination

Filed under
  • Schools
 by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 11:35 am

A student in Hudson, MA, is suing his school, claiming they violated his First Amendment rights and have discriminated against him because of his conservative views.

Christopher Bowler hung posters in the school that advertised meetings of a conservative club for students. School officials removed the posters because they contained a link to the High School Conservative Clubs of America — which in turn linked to videos of Americans being beheaded in Iraq. School officials believed the site to be anti-gay and pro-violence.

Bowler believes his rights were violated when the posters were removed. He also cites discriminatory treatment.

Teachers have treated Bowler with “contempt and disdain” for his political beliefs, and the school is run “dogmatically and rigidly” despite its place of honor as a First Amendment School, his lawyer said.

Bowler’s complaint alleges that classroom discussions included “anti-American and anti-conservative” points, one teacher labeled President Bush a deserter, another teacher showed an effigy of the president and “teachers and administrators mocked and derided anyone who held conservative political beliefs.”

Story at MetroWest Daily.

VA School Board Frets Over Student’s Play

Filed under
  • Schools
 by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 11:13 am

A student playwright in Loudoun, VA, has become an anti-gay crusader’s political football.

Stone Bridge High School senior Sabrina Jess’ play, “Offsides,” was performed at the school earlier this year. The play told the story of a football player trying to come to terms with his (homo)sexuality.

Enter Eugene Delgaudio, a Loudon County supervisor. Delgaudio is also the executive director of Public Advocate for the US. According to a report printed in the Washington Post in 2002, Public Advocate spent “more than $5 million between 1997 and 2000 on a nationwide campaign that has often vilified gays as pedophiles and violent criminals.”

Delgaudio’s a bit of a playwright himself. The WaPo reported that Public Advocate performed

media-ready skits that [Delgaudio] calls “conservative political street theater.” Past productions include a “Man-Donkey Mock Wedding Ceremony” outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and a “Perverts for Cellucci” rally to protest President Bush’s nomination of then-Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci to be ambassador to Canada.

Delgaudio led the charge against Jess’ play, calling it “the strange play in which homosexuality is promoted.”

Furor over the play has reached such levels that the school board will meet tonight to vote on a policy that would prohibit the production of plays that have any sexual themes. The new policy, Delgaudio says, would prevent “the continued promotion of bizarre and obscene immoral practices that offend all traditional pro-family religions in America and the world.”

The Loudoun Times-Monitor reports that Mainstream Loudoun, a local civil rights group, will present its own suggestion for a policy that will monitor material for obscenity, slander and libel, but not censor content.

Sabrina Jess, the playwright, has certainly gotten more education that she bargained for.

Brits Tighten TV Content Rules

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 10:37 am

Britain’s FCC-equivalent, Ofcom, has tightened rules on what may and may not be shown on television.

Among the changed rules, “the most offensive language” cannot be broadcast before 9 p.m. — or later if children are likely to be watching. (Unless the offensive language is “in context.") Nudity and sex are likewise limited to after 9 p.m., and must again be justified by “context.” Smoking and drinking “must generally be avoided and in any case must not be condoned” before 9 p.m. Unless in context.

Reports the Times, “Scenes that may give harm and offence, by depicting or glamorising sex, violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity or discrimination on any grounds, including religion, should only be shown if they are justified by the context.”

In the most bizarre rule, “paranormal stunts” such as mind reading and magic shows are to be put off until after the magic hour of 9 p.m.

So what exactly is “context"? Ofcom defines it as “an amalgamation of when the show goes out and on what channel; its subject matter; the programmes shown before and after it; the size and expectations of the likely audience; how far the audience can be warned in advance of what to expect; the amount of offence the show is likely to cause; and how upset someone is likely to be if they tune in accidentally.”

It’s all at the Times Online.

Hoosier Rep Calls for .porn Domain

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 10:09 am

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence wants porn sites to go official by creating a dot-porn designation on the web.

“We’ve got to be creative within constitutional protections” to prevent minors from accessing pornography, Pence told a recent summit sponsored by the American Decency Association, Kids First Coalition and other family values groups. “The Supreme Court seems more enamored with protecting obscene speech than with protecting everyday citizens.”

Also speaking at the anti-porn meetup was Florida Rep Katherine Harris (best known as the Florida recount’s chief recounter). She used big words, warning “against the social power of pornography” and calling it “the malignant desensitizer that changes a person’s perception.”

If the porn industry needs a slogan, there it is.

From the Washington Times.

Paris Is Burning

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 9:54 am

Strictly as a formality — not because it’s interesting or
anything — here’s the Paris/burger ink roundup.

* * * * *

“Paris Hilton scores again, meritocracy takes another well-aimed knee to the crotch.”

From “Group Doesn’t Relish Hamburger Ad Buns,” Arizona Republic.

* * * * *

“I wanted to do one of the commercials because I always think they’re really clever and sexy as well,” Hilton says on SpicyParis.com.

Hilton also spoke highly of the burger she promotes.

“This burger is really hot. There’s like these fried jalapenos on it,” she said. “It’s really like juicy and tasty.”

It’s not the first time Hilton has been associated with a burger campaign.

From “Paris Ad Too Hot for Critics,” E! Online.

* * * * *

Carl’s Jr.’s message to the PTC: The group needs to “get a life,” said Andy Puzder, CEO of Carl’s Jr., a subsidiary of CKE Restaurants. “This isn’t Janet Jackson – there is no nipple in this. There is no nudity, there is no sex acts – it’s a beautiful model in a swimsuit washing a car.”

Puzder says he has shown the ad to his three children, ages 12, 9 and 7, and they have shown no signs of being corrupted. “Maybe people are excited because it’s Paris Hilton, but there are far worse things on television that these groups should be worried about,” Puzder said.

From “No Apologies for Sexy Paris Hilton Ad,” CNN Money.

* * * * *

“It was a mixed blessing,” Carl’s Jr.’s executive vice president of marketing, Brad Haley, said in a statement. “It turned out that Paris was too hot for our servers.”

Hilton’s Carl’s Jr. ad will also be used for sister-company, Hardee’s hamburger chain and will hit airwaves in those markets in mid-June. Watch out Milwaukee.

From “Racy Paris Hilton Ad Crashes Burger Chain’s Site,” AZ Central.

* * * * *

“I’m not a prude, but they’re blatantly using sex to sell. I don’t dig it,” said Cathedral City resident Jim Tracy, who chose to eat at the restaurant anyway.

From “Paris Hilton Ad Fires Up … Tempers,” The Desert Sun (Palm Springs)

* * * * *

And finally, the headline of the day:

“Paris’ Promosexuality Proves Too Spicy for TV,” The Age (Australia).

Motley Crue Sues Peacock Crew

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/25/2005 @ 9:28 am

Rock band Motley Crue is suing NBC for banning the band. NBC apparently put the kibosh on any upcoming appearances by the longhairs after band member Vince Neil let an F-bomb slip during a New Year’s Eve appearance of the tonight show.

The expletive aired well after the FCC’s ’safe harbor’ and has not been acted upon by the FCC. NBC issued a statement yesterday stating that “to ensure compliance with its broadcast standards, NBC has the right to decide not to invite back guests who violate those standards and use an expletive during a live entertainment program.”

The band says the ban violates their free speech rights, but First Amendment lawyer Charles Tobin told the New York Times that he doubts the case will go very far.

Whether performers can take legal action to influence programming is in serious doubt, however. Charles Tobin, a Washington lawyer who specializes in First Amendment law and has represented CNN and Fox, said: “The government has no right to censor people on the content of their speech. But time and again the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of broadcasters, newspapers and the other media to decide who it wants to give priority to. That includes the right to ban anyone they want to.”

A bigger question is whether the network will apply the ban across the board. Earlier this month, System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian let the f-word slip during a performance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Have they been banned? IMDB.com has a list of other performers who have made the same slip over SNL’s history, including Prince, Steven Tyler, Michael Stipe and Paul Shaffer. And what about Bono, who was really, really happy to receive a Golden Globe award and said as much during NBC’s 2004 telecast of the program. (The FCC dismissed complaints against Bono and NBC.)

Ban ‘em all?

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