So where are the anti-regulatory zealots now?
by Guest Blogger, 11/10/2004
Funny how the critics of regulation only seem to care about regulations of the environment, public health, consumer protection -- the areas that hit business in the pocketbook -- but they don't scream their anti-regulatory screeds when the FCC goes on crusades to protect us all from such ghastly offenses as the baring of Janet Jackson's nipple. Now comes word that some local ABC affiliates are declining to participate in the network's Veterans Day airing of Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg's over-praised mix of treacle and WWII battlefield realism. The affiliates are pulling out because the film has bombs and, well, the F-bomb: In a statement on the Web site of Atlanta's WSB-TV, the station's vice president and general manager, Greg Stone cited a March ruling in which the FCC said an expletive uttered by rock star Bono during NBC's live airing of the 2003 Golden Globe Awards was both indecent and profane. The agency made it clear then that virtually any use of the F-word — which is used in "Saving Private Ryan" — was inappropriate for over-the-air radio and television. The Bono case "reversed years of prior policy that the context of language matters," Stone said. He added that broadcaster could not get any clarification from the FCC on whether the movie violates the standard.... ABC, which broadcast the film uncut in 2001 and 2002, issued a statement saying it is proud to broadcast it again. The network's contract with director Steven Spielberg stipulates that the film cannot be edited. We can't get OSHA to improve workplace health and safety for American workers, or NHTSA to force automakers to produce SUVs and trucks with rooves that don't crush us into paraplegics in a rollover, but we do get this. Another plus for the Bush administration.