Michael Powell to resign?

Mark Laurence mlaurence@mindspring.com
Sat Jan 22 14:12:04 EST 2005

I have never thought for a second that the FCC was going to fine anyone for showing "Saving Private Ryan."  And I don't believe any of the broadcasters that banned it truly thought so either.

It was a smart way to show the consequences of vague regulations, shifting standards, and draconian fines.  Broadcasters were saying if we continue in this direction, the self-censorship will be more severe than anyone wants.

The FCC was saying that America doesn't want exposed breasts on the Super Bowl, and they are right.  America doesn't want HBO language all over prime-time broadcast TV either.   I think they are correct.  But the FCC has gone wrong in not being more specific and in their cowardly stance that they won't take a position on anything until they get complaints.

Personally, I don't get offended by much of this.  But long before the Super Bowl incident, I thought the networks were inviting a backlash by the loose language in prime time.  Michael Powell's FCC has not done a good job of addressing this, but at least they have stopped the trend.


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