Firefighters Chilled: 9/11 Documentary Attacked As Indecent

by on September 5, 2006 · 2 comments

The Associated Press reported yesterday on the latest battlefront in the broadcast indecency wars: a CBS documentary on 9/11. The film–which has aired before without controversy–has been criticized by some indecency advocates because of bad language used by firefighters as they struggled at the World Trade Center on 9/11. The American Family Alliance, for example, has readied its members to complain to the FCC and CBS. As a result, some two dozen affiliates have announced they will replace or delay broadcast of the piece.

“This is example #1″ of the chilling effect of the FCC indecency rules, said Martin Franks, CBS’ executive vice president. “We don’t think it’s appropriate to sanitize the reality of the hell of Sept. 11,” Franks was quoted as saying. “It shows the incredible stress that these heroes were under. To sanitize it in some way robs it of the horror they faced.”

Well said. The simple fact is that some Americans will not be seeing this documentary because of the threat of FCC-imposed liability. Would the FCC actually find the piece indecent? That’s anybody’s guess. But the mere possibility has been enough to cause some stations–rationally enough, given increased fines–to cut and run.

A better example of the folly–and outrage– of government content controls would be hard to find. However well-intentioned, the FCC’s rules blow a clear, cold wind on speech.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    You think that’s bad? Check this out. The PTC got pissed off because the remake of the 10 Commandments apparently pulled no punches on being more in line with Exodus. Here’s a sample that should make you laugh, especially if you are familiar with Biblical theology at all:

    While ABC’s “The Ten Commandments” incorporates incidents normally overlooked and is technically more “accurate” to the details given in the Bible, it completely lacks any sense of respect for or understanding of the Biblical story. Yes, Moses doubted himself and his mission. Yes, the Hebrews battled the Amalekites, killing them. And yes, rebellious Hebrews who rejected the Commandments and a covenant with God were put to death. But the entire point of the Biblical message is that of God’s unfailing love and mercy; the entire point of giving the Hebrews the Ten Commandments was to enable them to live a better, happier life; and the entire point of the Exodus was to lead the Hebrews to a land “flowing with milk and honey.”

    Other than the fact that it was a clueless assault on the 10 Commandments, written by a theologically illiterate moron, I’d say that it was well-written!

    The one thing that these groups clearly lack is an appreciation for the value of teaching kids how reality is. That is undeniably one of the highest duties of a good parent.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    You think that’s bad? Check this out. The PTC got pissed off because the remake of the 10 Commandments apparently pulled no punches on being more in line with Exodus. Here’s a sample that should make you laugh, especially if you are familiar with Biblical theology at all:

    While ABC’s “The Ten Commandments” incorporates incidents normally overlooked and is technically more “accurate” to the details given in the Bible, it completely lacks any sense of respect for or understanding of the Biblical story. Yes, Moses doubted himself and his mission. Yes, the Hebrews battled the Amalekites, killing them. And yes, rebellious Hebrews who rejected the Commandments and a covenant with God were put to death. But the entire point of the Biblical message is that of God’s unfailing love and mercy; the entire point of giving the Hebrews the Ten Commandments was to enable them to live a better, happier life; and the entire point of the Exodus was to lead the Hebrews to a land “flowing with milk and honey.”

    Other than the fact that it was a clueless assault on the 10 Commandments, written by a theologically illiterate moron, I’d say that it was well-written!

    The one thing that these groups clearly lack is an appreciation for the value of teaching kids how reality is. That is undeniably one of the highest duties of a good parent.

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