FCC follies: The Olympics complaints
: The FCC quietly posted to its web site the nine complaints that triggered a Commission investigation of the Olympics.
I’m betting that many if not most of them are the fine work of fans of Howard Stern and the First Amendment who have a well-developed sense of comic absurdity and enjoy painting the FCC into a corner: Hey, suckas, if you’re going to censor Stern and Jackson and Bono, then censor this! One clue: A complainer says the FCC should go after Oprah Winfrey (a rallying cry for us Stern fans; she did exactly what got Stern a huge fine but she’s skating so far). Another clue: They argue that commercials for Father of the Pride — a cartoon; it tried and failed to be a little sophisticated but it was still just a cartoon — and The Exorcist are indecent.
Why did the FCC put this up now? It could be because they wanted to cut off my Freedom of Information Act request at the pass (I filed it with Air America’s Morning Sedition and the FCC wouldn’t want either of us to have a good story). It could also be that there is some sane soul in the FCC who’s glad to have this absurdity exposed. I doubt that. But a citizen can hope, can’t he?
Here is my forensic analysis of the nine complaints.
My favorite goes after a profile of Amanda Beard:
In one of their athlete profiles they described her as the sex symbol of the Olympics, and showing some incredibly inappropriate images of her to prove their point.
Anybody have a copy? Please?
This happened during prime time, when children could be watching. Instead of celebrating the greatness of mankind as represented by the Olympic spirit, they showed pictures designed to incite lust and immorality — roots of many of the social ills facing our nation today.
This is either a brilliant Stern prankster or someone who badly needs a dose of Viagra.
Two complain about the opening ceremonies, an event so dull only people without lives could stay awake to watch for nasties. One of them whines:
How could NBC be allowed to show the male genitalia on national television, especially during prime time, in their coverage of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. This was suppose [sic] to be family viewing time. There were children watching. I am referring to when the giant white mask that broke apart into a statue of a nude man. First we had to be subjected to the breast of Janet Jackson in the Superbowl, an [sic] now an even more gratuitous display of pornography and indecency during what was suppose [sic] to be another family viewing event.
The Washington Post gets to the bottom of this cultural scandal, reporting:
Actually, the writer is referring to the gigantic replica of a Cycladic head, so popular around 2700 B.C., that broke apart to reveal a replica of a Kouros sculpture, all the rage around the 6th century B.C.
To sit there with my kids and watch a guy basically rip off a girls [sic] clothes while appearing to have sex, has nothing to do with the Olympic tradition.
The Post interprets:
We believe this writer is referring to that happy couple seen frolicking — and losing some clothing as sometimes happens when one frolics — in the world’s largest puddle, during the artsy-craftsy part of the ceremonies.
FYI, that was right around the time that puddle-wading pregnant chick with the glowing belly showed up. We have been told on good authority that she was supposed to represent Leto, aka Latona, the Titans’ daughter, who, I’m here to tell you, was one skeevy chick.
Four of them complain that they heard the word “fuck” during women’s beach volley ball.
And two of them complained about commercials for curing erectile dysfunction or entertainment (which are, after all, pretty much the same thing):
While watching the Olympics women’s volleyball game, USA v. China, on Saturday 8/14, an advertisement for THE EXORCIST came on. We parents shouldn’t have to sit on a Saturday afternoon and worry what kind of messages our children might receive while watching an Olympic event. That advertisement was completely inappropriate and I found myself scrambling to keep my kids from watching that violence.
Yes, their heads started spinning and they began spewing pea soup! You’d think that these folks would like The Exorcist; the devil loses, you know. This correspondent also complains about a Cialis commercial and adds:
Is there no time at all that we can peacefully watch television. You’re so worried about Janet Jackson’s breast yet you let this kind of advertising just slide. Do your job.
Yes, let’s not be sexist! Another letter complains about Father of the Pride promos. Well, there was a lot to complain about with that turkey but not this:
I am not a prude, but subject matter shown in these commercials is not fit for family viewing.
Heh. This correspondent this goes on to describe the Viagra and Cialis commercials in detail.
We all know they are marketing to people who use the drug to enhance performance, not just to treat disfunction.
If they, instead, treated the limp like Jerry’s Kids, I assume there’d no problem.
Because of these patently if not purposely absurd letters, government lawyers and sleuths are now investigating the Olympics to see whether sex, drugs, and kids cartoons are ruining the nation’s soul.
I could argue that doping and greed are doing that. But, hey, then you’d have to ban baseball… and football… and….
: MORE: The NY Times goes to too great a length to try to analyze FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s cynical hypocrisy on the First Amendment. They note (as I did in my Nation story on this) that Powell once defending the First Amendment and even won an award because of it; now he is the national nanny.
Odd that The Times says the FCC would not characterize the complaints regarding that Olympics yet the FCC put the complaints themselves online three days ago. The FCC is gaming us.