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September 10 2006

Darn Those Naughty Words!

*WARNING:I curse in this entry. I am using it to prove a point*

CBS wants to re-air their documentary, “9/11“, on Sunday September 10th to mark the fifth anniversary of the tragedy. Two French filmmakers happened to be following a probationary fireman on that fateful day, and started off as a film about a young men becoming a full fireman, turned in to an on-the-scene document of what happened that day. CBS has aired this before and feels it is time to air it again to mark this historic anniversary.

Enter my friends, and yours, the American Family Association! I have written about these lovable folks five times already, but they just keep doing fun things! It seems that during this documentry some of the fireman, well, they *looks around to see who’s listening, leans in to whisper* use bad language! *waits for everyone to stop gasping* They even issued an “ActionAlert” about it in hopes they could shame CBS in to playing by the new FCC rules that fine tv stations $325,000 per indecent incident aired. There are times when the FCC will relax the rules based on context, but you can never be sure of that. In light of this, some CBS affiliates won’t air the documentary, which, in turn, caused CBS to announce they will stream it over the web to service those markets.

This is not some standard TV show folks, this is a historical document, and as such, should not be messed with or be forced to adhere to normal rules. They aren’t airing the swear words as a ratings grab, they are airing them as a portion of a document that shows one of the worst days in the history of our nation. This isn’t some show written by some writers in a back room who thought it might be cool to see if they could get away with a few swear words. These are fireman, trying their hardest to rescue as many people as possible while the world literally falls down around their ears, I think everyone could be a bit understanding of a few swear words.

The AFA says in their “ActionAlert” (can you tell that title annoys me?):

Do your local CBS affiliate a favor. Ask them to refuse to air 9/11, or at least, air it after 10:00pm local time.

Why? Are you worried about kids watching this? If that’s your beef, I think it’s a bigger beef that young children would be watching something so traumatic. I doubt little Johnny will run around the next day screaming “FUCK!” because the fireman on the TV said it, he’ll be having nightmares instead about watching people fall from the 90th story of a building to their death.

I’m pissed. People like the AFA just anger me because they think they are so righteous, so the guardians of decency, and only they can “protect us” from such indecency. While I find it indecent to think you should censor raw emotions of some of the most heroic men of that day. How dare you feel that you have that right. If you don’t want to hear it, here it comes, TURN THE DAMNED CHANNEL! You have the power to edit, if you don’t want to hear, I’ll say it again, the raw emotions of these men, then don’t watch it. This is not some normal drama, this is history, as it happened, leave it alone.

Words only have the power you give them. There are inappropriate times for some words, sure, but there are times where they are wholly appropriate.

Inappropriate: Gilmore Girls decides to have Rory scream “Fuck you!” at a boyfriend as they break up. Nope, out-of-character, wrong time of the night, wrong show. They should be fined.

Appropriate: A fireman fighting his way through smoke, trying o drag people to safety after evil people have used our own planes as weapons, and in frustration, he yells “FUCK!” No fine should be issued, no problem, it’s appropriate.

Nope, instead, the AFA says that 198,000 of their members have already sent emails saying how they want CBS fined for this. How about instead of bleeping out of the words, how about instead of censoring, if you choose to watch this documentary with your children, how about you sit down and discuss with them what they saw and heard? Why don’t you say to them “Now, Billy, I know that fireman said a bad word, but there are times for those words, and someday you’ll know when that is, but for now you’re not to use them.” I know, what a radical idea, actually TALKING with kids! I’m such a radical.

Oh, before I sign off, at the bottom of the “ActionAlert”…

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