Sep 17, 2007
I'm not talking about Fox News. It is the Fox Broadcasting Company - the entertainment part of the company, which has far more viewers and rakes in far more advertising revenue than its little brother, Fox News - that might need some massive boycotting.
It was the Fox Broadcasting Company which censored Sally Field's anti-war statement in its broadcast of the Emmys last night.
Sally Field was on stage to accept her Emmy Award for best actress in a drama series - Brothers and Sisters. She was talking about the pain of war, and said that, "if mothers ruled the world, maybe there would be no more godda-"
And Fox cut her off in mid-sentence. We're not allowed to hear the phrase "goddamned war," even though war is just that.
We, in our democracy, supposedly protected by a First Amendment that says Congress shall make law no abridging freedom of speech or press, are not allowed to hear a critique of war.
Fox was no doubt afraid of the Federal Communications Commission, and what it might do to a broadcast network that allowed the word "goddamned" to go out to the world.
This is what we've come to. Fear of an unconstitutional agency leading a network to bleep a profound, heartfelt observation about war.
Here are some responses we might consider:
1. The Fox Broadcasting Company could lose more money if it loses viewers than it might have been fined by the FCC for broadcasting goddamned. Maybe Americans who want to see this wrong war over should stop watching Fox for a couple of weeks. A good time to start would be right now, when Fox is unveiling its Fall lineup.
2. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences should think about moving the Emmys telecast to cable, currently not under the FCC's thumb.
3. We need to elect a President who understands the unconstitutionality of the FCC, and the damage it does. Ron Paul of the Republicans already gets this, and perhaps a few of the Democrats, such as Obama or Edwards, could make this part of their platform.
On the May 8th page of the 2007 First Amendment Calendar, I'm quoted as saying "What begins as a seemingly innocent campaign against indecency … always segues in short order into political censorship."
That's just what happened last night.