F the FCC
: That’s not winter you feel coming. That’s the chill of the FCC regulating speech. An Iowa station decided not to run Saving Private Ryan for fear of FCC fines. Its statement:
As many of you may be aware, the Federal Communications Commission has changed its standards for certain content related to programming broadcast before 10pm. These changes followed the Janet Jackson incident at the Super Bowl earlier this year. The inconsistent manner in which the FCC is choosing to apply these rules puts TV stations like ours in a most difficult position. As this relates to Saving Private Ryan, our concern centers on whether the FCC would consider the context in which the intense adult language and graphic battleground violence is presented in the movie. Would the FCC conclude that the movie has sufficient social, artistic, literary, historical or other kinds of value that would protect us from breaking the law? Can a movie with an “M” rating, however prestigious the production or poignant the subject matter, be shown before 10pm? With the current FCC, we just don’t know. This is the case even though this same movie has been broadcast in primetime twice before on this station without complaint. Adding to our frustration is the fact that a fine motion picture like Saving Private Ryan can be shown on cable or satellite without any government agency restriction or regulation.
We regret that we are not able to broadcast a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces like Saving Private Ryan. However, on this Veterans Day, we do wish to pay tribute to all the men and women -past and present -who so nobly serve our country.
: UPDATE: Lost Remote reports that 20 more stations dropped the movie.