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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Saving Private Funding
I'm sure that the following actions will be decried as evidence of the Bush Administration's stranglehold on free speech in the country. If someone argues that the violent matter in "Saving Private Ryan" should be shown, then I would assume that person would also agree that the religious matter in "Davey and Goliath" should also be shown over the airwaves. Or, kill two birds with one stone and show Mel Gibson's movie.

From Yahoo!:

Several ABC affiliates have announced that they won't take part in the network's Veterans Day airing of "Saving Private Ryan," saying the acclaimed film's violence and language could draw sanctions from the Federal Communications Commission....

"Under strict interpretation of the rules, we can't run that programming before 10 p.m.," said Ray Cole, president of Citadel, which owns WOI-TV in Des Moines, KCAU-TV in Sioux City and KLKN-TV in Lincoln, Neb.

The Oscar-winning film includes a violent depiction of the D-Day invasion and profanity....

The [FCC] made it clear [after the Bono incident] that virtually any use of the F-word — which is used in "Saving Private Ryan" — was inappropriate for over-the-air radio and television....

ABC, which broadcast the film uncut in 2001 and 2002, issued a statement saying it is proud to broadcast it again. The network's contract with director Steven Spielberg stipulates that the film cannot be edited....

Several stations said ABC had rejected their requests to air the movie after 10 p.m.

An FCC spokeswoman said Wednesday that the agency does not monitor television broadcasts, but responds to complaints. The agency did receive a complaint after the 2001 broadcast of "Saving Private Ryan," but it was denied, she said.

WSOC-TV of Charlotte said it had received complaints about language in the movie when it was aired in 2001 and 2002....

ABC has told its affiliates it would cover any fines, but Cole, of Citadel, said the network could not protect its affiliates against other FCC sanctions.

The FCC has stepped up enforcement of its decency standards for certain content following this year's Super Bowl halftime show, in which one of Janet Jackson's breasts was exposed....

"We're just coming off an election where moral issues were cited as a reason by people voting one way or another and, in my opinion, the commissioners are fearful of the new Congress," Cole said.

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