Tuesday, September 12, 2006

AFA calls for fines, I say let it go.

I appreciate and support much of what the American Family Association does. But sometimes I think they go overboard. In this case, they decided to go after CBS for a 9/11 documentary that was filmed by a crew following rescue workers when the first plane hit.

The documentary shows the actual people having actual conversations, and included a LOT of salty language, as you might imagine (I remember using some salty language on that day, but I am caught using such language fairly often).

Anyway, this offended the AFA, which wanted CBS to either censor the show or bleep out the offending words.

I would be behind them 100% if this was a "docudrama", because the writers could easily choose other language which got the message across.

But this was real life, and in real life people say things, and sometimes it's important for us to see what exactly happened, and that means hearing the foul language. CBS had the appropriate rating on the show, and included disclaimers about the language (as if the topic itself wasn't enough to scare off parents of young children).

So I do not support the call for fines requested by the AFA in their latest mailing, which I reproduce in part here:

File a complaint with the FCC against CBS for airing multiple uses the "f" and "s" words.

Dear Charles,
This past Sunday evening (Sept. 10), some CBS network broadcast stations aired the "9/11" documentary. During the course of the program, CBS affiliates chose to broadcast multiple obscenities over the public airwaves at a time they knew children would be watching.

CBS had been warned about allowing the "f" and "s" words on the air. The network could have easily muted the obscenities. But they chose not to. The network stations purposely chose to violate Federal and FCC law by airing the program.

Sorry, but this isn't the Janet Jackson incident. An 'offensive' show wasn't thrust upon an unsuspecting public. I'm not happy with the FCC rules anyway, and I certainly hope they are not enforced in some legalistic and absurd fashion.

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