Chop suey commentary

Chop suey commentary

: Frank Rich writes Chinese menu columns: He slaps together one thought from column A and one thought from column B that don’t belong together. And, yes, an hour later, your brain feels empty.

In his column tomorrow, he starts bemoaning the FCC’s censorship and the chill that brought 66 stations to preempt Saving Private Ryan.

Merely the threat that the F.C.C. might punish a TV station or a network is all that’s needed to push them onto the slippery slope of self-censorship before anyone in Washington even bothers to act. This is McCarthyism, “moral values” style.

But then, because the F words came in a movie about war, he tries — pulling from column B — to make this an issue not of government censorship but of the prowar Republicans. Get it? A movie about war was censored while we’re at war and so this must be a Bush coverup.

Can you say non sequitur?

  • Keith

    I don’t understand why stations couldn’t show the film with the f-words bleeped or dubbed or something? Hasn’t that been happening for years with R-rated films?
    The FCC certainly had a chilling effect on this film being shown, surely, but just as surely the all-or-nothing nature of the choice to play it meant that communities could not ‘adjust’ the film for their community standards which accentuated the issue.

  • pianoman

    Keith:
    Spielberg forbade the networks from altering his film. It was either all or nothing.

  • Ted

    Did you see that, along with Saving Private Ryan, the AFA has been successful in its attempts to cease violent training videos (e.g. America’s Army video and video game). Stunning, really.
    Swift Report