Monday, May 10, 2004

the chilling effect caused by recent fcc paranoia (inspired, as we might all remember, by janet jackson's breast) rolls on... & indianapolis is in the news for having a censor-happy radio station. from the nytimes:

The producers of "Masterpiece Theater," intent on staying in the good graces of a Federal Communications Commission increasingly vigilant for instances of indecency, took a step last month they never had before. They chose not to make available to PBS member stations an unexpurgated version of the critically acclaimed British series "Prime Suspect," and instead sent out two edited versions: one with all of the salty language edited, and another with only some of the possibly offending words excised.

Taking similar cues from regulators, an Indianapolis radio station pre-empted words like "urinate," "damn" and "orgy" from going out over the air during a recent broadcast of Rush Limbaugh's talk show.


A similarly vigilant technician had his finger on the "dump" button at WIBC-AM, an Emmis station in Indianapolis, during its broadcast of Mr. Limbaugh's syndicated program on March 3 — one day after Emmis informed its employees that the broadcast of material it deemed offensive could result in their suspension or firing.

In an e-mail message to the station's program director, the assistant program director wrote that the delay was used 11 times that day for Mr. Limbaugh's program. "I can only guess we are erring on the side of safety given that I don't know of any instance a licensee has ever been fined or cited for airing Rush unedited," the assistant program director wrote, "but we'll continue to do these cuts until we're directed otherwise."

that's something to be proud of: "hey, we're so timid we censored the word 'orgy' out of the rush limbaugh show!" there's no faulting rush, though, as this is one of the few issues where he's on the proper side...

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