Thursday, November 11, 2004

Department of Intended Consequences

Apparently, several ABC affiliates are getting a little nervous about what Powell the Younger, Lord and Master of the FCC, might think of Americans getting a close look at what war is all about:

"Fearful of the FCC crackdown on indecent broadcasts, at least 18 ABC affiliates plan to pre-empt the network's unedited broadcast of the film 'Saving Private Ryan' at 8 Thursday night. The pre-emptions come despite the network's decision to warn viewers during each commercial break about the graphic violence and language in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated World War II epic. ABC has aired 'Ryan' twice before without any pre-emption, to commemorate Veterans Day in 2001 and '02, though some stations cited past complaints from viewers that they also factored into their decisions."

At least some of the affiliates took the precautionary step of asking the FCC if broadcasting "Ryan's" violence and language would be coloring outside the lines of the Commission's ever-shifting limits as to what can and cannot be aired:

"Janice Wise, spokeswoman for the FCC's enforcement bureau, said they had received calls from broadcasters asking if the film would run afoul of the rules. Wise said the commission was barred from making a prebroadcast decision 'because that would be censorship.'"

Presumably, however, their good faith inquiries do not immunize them from getting their asses fined if the FCC so chooses after the fact. Nope, no censorship there.

So, no "Ryan" for some eighteen (and counting) cities, and at least one is planning to show "Return to Mayberry" in its place. Tune in as hijinx ensue when Barney Fife decides to engage in house-to-house action to put down the insurgents who keep stealing his morning newspaper.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Goober and Gomer and Floyd?

4:20 PM  

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