Monday, October 02, 2006

Silencing the Messenger

You Monday Night Football diehards probably didn't realize that Eyes on the Prize, the critically acclaimed documentary on the civil rights movement, aired Monday night on PBS and continues on successive Mondays through Oct. 16 from 9 to 11 p.m.

Ever since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, the FCC has gotten petty over what's considered indecent and threatens to censor Prize for potentially threatening language, as my colleague, Gail Shister, reported.

You would think, that after numerous beatings and threats to his life, SNCC leader James Forman can at least be excused for saying "f*ck," and his story wouldn't be slapped with a potential $350,000 fine over 40 years later.

5 Comments:

Anonymous aileysmom said...

Personally, I find the N-word far more offensive than "f*ck" and I at first thought that was what the FCC was threatening to censor Eyes on the Prize for. What they did to Emmett Till was indecent. Saying "F*ck" is not even close.

9:46 PM  
Blogger jasmine0920 said...

I think that it very dangerous territory for the FCC to even consider censoring the Eyes on the Prize which so accurately chronicles of the history of the civil rights movement for ANY reason. First, the problem would be the f word, then it would be the violence, then it would be that it offends some people or makes some people uncomfortable and before you know it, the documentary would be reduced to some watered down nonsense not rooted in reality.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

F*ck is the appropriate expression to refer to many circumstances that occurred in the inexcusably long path toward civil rights in this country (and some might argue that that road, under the current administration, keeps strtching out). I am a middle-aged Caucasian and it is critically important to me that my children know as much as possible about this movement. Words are not violence. 47 million without health insurance under Bush is violence. 50,000+ dead Iraquis is violence.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous dan said...

When I began reading this post I thought it a little extreme to censor the word "segregation."

Then I realized, gee, I'm a moron, the f-word is the offensive word the FCC is all bent out of shape about.

As far as I'm concerned PBS should hope for a 350,000 fine and a day in court. Even a fraction of the attention garnered by the half-time-hub-bub would be worth the money.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Merkin Muffley said...

The FCC doesn't censor anything. Rather, they fine people after the fact. No one knows the exact rules, so they may be self-censoring more than the FCC would restrict, if only the obscenity rules were actually defined. And why do we interpret other parts of the Constitution literally, but not the 1st amendment?

12:17 PM  

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