F the CC

Something like 19 ABC affiliates in at least eight states (affecting 35% of the US population, apparently) refused to broadcast the special Veteran’s Day broadcast of the uncut version of Saving Private Ryan last night, due to worries about FCC reprisals. WTF? All this just because of Janet Jackson’s boob? This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. Er, not seen. And a pretty good indication of where the US is headed over the next four years when it comes to forcing broadcasters and publishers to self-censor.

So, in the United States of Jesus… Real war=A-OK! Fake war with lots of cussin’ and fake bloodlettin’=Evil and subject to massive fines and complaints!

Yup, the movies in Jesusland suck too.

How about the full director’s cut of the Passion of Christ on Christmas Day?

Er, not seen. And a pretty good indication of where the US is headed over the next four years when it comes to forcing broadcasters and publishers to self-censor.

Did I hear right that the problem wasn’t the violence, but people saying ‘Fuck’?

It’s OK to blow people up, so long as they don’t cuss…

“We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”

–Col. Kurtz

There are better S&M movies available… :lol:

I don’t remember for sure, but according to what I’ve read, ABC did exactly the same thing last year (i.e. a big playing of SPR), and the FCC intentionally denied every single complaint that came in.

ABC’s affiliates therefore know full well that the FCC is extremely unlikely to do anything, or accept any complaints that come in. Hell, ABC offered to pay any fine that the FCC levied, just to try to defuse the issue, and the affiliates still refused. They’re trying to score political points by claiming that they’re afraid for their free-speech rights.

Guess who those 19 stations are owned by! Did you say “Sinclair?” That’s right, the same holding group that was planning to run a one-hour smear job on Kerry right before the election is now engaged in some sort of complicated head-fake with the FCC.

As you can see from the topic, Brett’s been playing too much GTA:SA.

Guys, do you really want Saving Private Ryan shown on national broadcast TV during a time when many children may see it? That movie is wonderful, but it’s HARSH. Even if they hacked out the whole beach storming scene, most kids would be horrified by what’s left. Heck, I was horrified by parts, but at least I can cope with it. Younger viewers probably couldn’t.

If this is question of not airing it more for the language than the violence, then that’s a legitimate complaint, but the bottom line is that it’s not appropriate for broadcast TV during prime time (I assume it was prime time. Wasn’t it?).

Then how come their objection wasn’t “not suitable for broadcast television?” They’re complaining about the FCC wacking them, not refusing to air it because they think it’s objectionable.

So… The FCC (or fear of their wrath) is keeping them from airing it because the FCC doesn’t think it’s appropriate for braodcast television? Half dozen of one, six of the other.

Hell yeah. I’d love for this generation of children to grow up with a psychological aversion to war.

But the FCC isn’t stopping them. Out of all the ABC affiliates, the only ones that think the FCC is going to get pissy afterwards and come after them are 13 Sinclair-owned stations. Seeing how Sinclair’s stock price is tanking and they’ve got some bizarre political shit going on, not amount of cynicism is too much here.

Our abc affiliate is not owned by sinclair, but they blocked it. And instead of playing any of the hundreds of acceptable war movies - midway, longest day, patton, etc - they played matlock reruns.

But i don’t get that the FCC would not say they would or wouldn’t fine them before hand because that according to them would be censorship. WTF? They knew the movie, it wasn’t a live broadcast where something could slip in, why not just say it?



According to this article the Sinclair stations aren’t even a majority among the ABC affiliates refusing to broadcast the movie. 9 out of 20-something. So pinning this on Sinclair in some bizarre attempt at conspiracy theory just don’t fly.

I think the stations are right to be nervous of the FCC, they’ve been a lot more publically agressive since the outrage over the Super Bowl nonsense.

Shouldn’t that be left up to parents?

But yes, it all has to do with the language, and not the violent content …

The highly acclaimed Steven Spielberg drama, which is recommended for mature audiences by the motion picture industry, contains language that the FCC has recently deemed as inappropriate within the “safe harbor” of programming prior to 10 p.m.

From a news release by Milwaukee’s local ABC affiliate.

I was under the impression that a lot of stations wouldn’t run it because they didn’t know if the FCC would fine them or not. They asked and just weren’t given a real response.

Who has a list of where it did and did not play? I think it played here last night, (KOMO 4) but I didn’t actually tune in to make sure. TiVo is usually pretty good at last minute schedule changes if something does or does not air.

The FCC isn’t actually legally allowed to say it until the broadcast goes on the air, because making a pre-broadcast judgement would be tantamount to allowing a broadcast to be prevented before the fact instead of merely penalized afterwards. Even when there are constitutional free-speech restrictions, the government cannot actually legally censor you - they can only prosecute you afterwards. The FCC would be opening itself up to serious legal problems by pre-emptively making an official declaration that a broadcast is okay.

The reason I don’t buy the affiliates’ story is because they know all of this already. The FCC can’t give them an official response in either direction, but they’re seizing on the FCC’s silence to try and make a point.