"Curses! The birth of the bleep and modern American censorship
" by Maria Bustillos
"The bleep of censorship invariably draws attention to the material it was intended to conceal; circles it, if you like, by loudly omitting it. Bleeping also serves as proof that there is a watcher: someone looking out for us in advance. In the bleep lies the evidence that you are being “protected” — but by whom? Why? And from what?"
Television viewers in China were shocked last Friday
when state broadcaster CCTV
aired V for Vendetta
unedited in prime time. Previously, Chinese search engines would not even return results for the anti-totalitarian 2006 film
; CCTV-6 did at least harmonize the title by translating it as "V Special Forces", rather than the more common translation given in pirated DVD editions, "V the Revenge Killing Squad". [more inside]
After decades of selling tampons and "sanitary products" with ads
containing nebulous, euphemistic images and language, Kotex launched
a new product line, 'U by Kotex'
and a 'Declaration of Real Talk Campaign'
to encourage girls and women to speak about menstruation without embarrassment
. Ironically, their ad was rejected by the major US television networks
for mentioning the word 'vagina'. Here's the 'safe for the viewing public' version.
/ YT channel
. [more inside]
The Smothers Brothers are a folk-singing comedy duo
whose television show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour featured music
, and political satire
. CBS abruptly canceled
the show in 1969 due to continued arguments about censorship. [more inside]
Sorry lads - Wank Week is cancelled
. Channel 4's planned series on masturbation, which would have come this month and which was to feature such illuminating documentaries as "I Can't Stop Wanking
" and "Masturbation for Women
, as well as a portrait of the UK's first masturbate-a-thon
, has been pulled
as a result of the recent Big Brother controversy
. Would-be viewers feel stiffed
and wonder why 4 is being so hard on
its viewers, who are now left to entertain themselves.
The Parents Television Council has released their list of the top 10 worst shows for family viewing.
The Fox network led the way with six of the ten shows, Family Guy, American Dad, The War at Home, The O.C., That 70s Show and Arrested Devlopment. The PTC also released a top-nine list of shows that are family friendly (they claim they couldn't find a 10th show to complete the list), leading the way is Three Wishes and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They also accuse Fox of being deceptive with their marketing of their Sunday night lineup, and using cartoons to pedal the "filth" to children.
FCC Denies PTC's complaints.
(Salon article, get daypass or bugmenot) The FCC
succinctly denied (pdf) the 36 count complaint
Parents Television Council. We've talked about previous decisions here
- could this be a light at the end of the tunnel?
The Chilling Effect.
Some ABC affiliates have opted not to broadcast a scheduled airing of Saving Private Ryan
, due to concerns over new FCC indecency regulations. They don't want to get fined. The FCC won't say in advance whether the film is indecent ("that would be censorship"). But don't worry, the Parents Televsion Council
says the "context" makes it OK. Which is fine, but who utlimately gets to judge the context?
(currently in the early stages of construction) is this guy
's new web site. It will log instances of "offensive" material shown on broadcast television
, enable offended TV viewers to send email directly
to local station owners and management, and/or send emails to the station's local and national advertisers. What happens to advertisers who ignore the email campaign and continue to sponsor shows that CleanTV deems offensive? - "If an advertiser continues to support offensive advertising, they will be targeted for local and national boycott. On the local level, newspapers are notified of the boycott and CleanTV volunteers will demonstrate at the advertiser's place of business until the advertiser decides to rescind their support of offensive programming."
The TV Guardian
is a "cuss buster," removing all profanity from recordings that are shown on your TV. Finally, something to make my movies and TV more wholesome than Mary Lou Retton (you know your career as a gymnast is in the
can, when you're hawking these kinds of products).
How do you censor terrorists in the 21st Century?
Bush has got networks to agree not to run raw bin Laden footage over fear of transmitting instructions. But how do you get every publication in the free world not to run the text of statements?
I was watching "The Craft" last night,
and noticed that they censored the image of Robin Tunney's
parents' plane going down (actually a Glamour
, but you know that), and later Nieve Campbell's character says "you know the [silence]", they actually cut out the words "plane crash". Has anybody else noticed this kind of censorship? Would anybody have been really shocked to hear Nieve say "plane crash"? Do you think the WB would've been swamped with calls? It's bad enough what they did to homer
or what the geniuses at clear channel
are doing. Good movie, though.
Sour Family Hour?
This report from the conservative Parents Television Council
made the top of the front page in our local paper this morning. If you visit the PTC home page, you'll get a pop-up calling for action against Comedy Central and "South Park" because they recently went over the top by not censoring the word "shit" and compounding the sin by using a counter in the corner to note how many times it was said. (Anybody catch that episode?)
Ethel talks about CNN censorship
of Crossfire with Larry Flynt and Donna Rice Hughes. The transcript
is MIA from the site.