War is heck
Apologies to Reuters for stealing their headline from this article, but I like it.
The crackdown on media “indecency” since the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident over in the USA could lead to a World War Two documentary being censored, or shown late at night. The seven part series includes interviews with veterans where they discuss their experiences in the war. As one would expect from people who have been through the experiences they went through, their contributions feature expletives. This could lead to a fine of as much as $325,000 (approximately £175,000) from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who have defined indecency as:
language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities
Paula Kerger, the president of the PBS network that will be airing the series, has said that she does not want to bleep the words, as that would lessen the impact of the documentary, or air it late at night, which would reduce the available audience.
There is a precedent from the Republican controlled FCC, who allowed an uncut broadcast of “Saving Private Ryan” last year, but the FCC will not give a pre-airing clearance to the program. It does seem a little strange to MWW that people who apparantly fought for freedom, do not have the freedom of speech to express their views in the way that they wish to.