Friday, February 18, 2005

PBS: BUBAR (Bleeped Up Beyond All Recognition)

Worried about FCC reaction, PBS is taking the words out of the mouths of some soldiers filmed during combat in Iraq.

The public broadcaster is distributing "clean" and "raw" versions of Tuesday's Frontline documentary about the Iraq war, titled A Company of Soldiers, and is warning it can't ensure member stations against FCC fines stemming from the language.

It's an example of the television industry's continued uncertainty about Federal Communications Commission standards for language and content, and a real-life echo of last fall's decision by 66 ABC affiliates not to air the movie Saving Private Ryan.

The documentary contains 13 expletives spoken by soldiers. Frontline producers decided to leave them in because it presented a true picture of how these men and women react to the fear and stress of war, said David Fanning, the show's executive producer.

...PBS decided to send the clean version out to all of its stations.

From PBS edits language in war documentary in today's Baltimore Sun.

I'm considering suing PBS for being lame, but I'm sure it will be just as good without the expletives.


Stephanie said...

Just thougt that I would let you know I was here

-epm said...

This is beyond the pale. I don't know where to start, PBS, the FCC or the vigilante morality mafia in the form of a self-appointed posses of purity. (Ooh, that was a good alliteration.)

First of all PBS needs to rejoin the community of vertebrates, and tell the censors "bite me" once in a while. I find it more obscene that a program like Frontline is being forced to sanitize the language of war than I find the words themselves. So it's support the troops, but don't listen to them? And, really; how many families gather their little children around the idiot-box at 9:00 on a school night for a fun fill family night of Frontline?! Please. Even if the dialogue was only filled with hecks and darns, I'm not sure I'd want my little kids immersed in a war documentary anyway.

We're going to FCC ourselves into the land of disinformed, pantywaists.

Every time a broadcaster caves in to censors, I envision a cable TV exec breaking into an evil laugh and rubbing his hands together. "Soon it will be mine! All MINE!" And there I am, the last over-the-air holdout left with nothing but TV preachers and "Just Say No" PSAs.

Bite me.

SugarDuck said...

PBS used to leave everything in, I still remember watching "A Room With a View" on PBS and they left in the full frontal male nudity. I was amazed.