: I skipped out of my church’s budget committee meeting tonight to appear on Pat Buchanan’s show on MSBNC on The Passion of The Christ. Hmmm. That may be a new definition of profanity. I’m going to say that I am a Christian and I did not like Passion. I even preached a sermon about it. To say that not liking Passion makes Hollywood godless is illogical, silly, even offensive.
: LATER: Michael Medved and Buchanan went on about seething mobs of securlists in Hollywood. I said it’s not a matter of religion and it’s not a matter of right and left (being that they blanked out Fahrenheit 9/11). It’s a matter of taste.
The indecent indecency bill rides again
: The prigs and prudes and enemies of the First Amendment are at it again, trying once more to get their indecent indecency bill through Congress. This time, it will make it all the way to Bush’s desk, and we know what will happen there. An holier-than-thou alliance of Republican and Democrats are joining to kneecap the Constitution:
Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Commerce subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the issue, unveiled on Tuesday a bill to raise fines on broadcasters and entertainers to as much as $500,000 per violation.
It would also require the FCC to consider revoking a station’s license after three violations.
Meanwhile, Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, plans to introduce a measure on Wednesday to boost fines to as much as $325,000 per violation and a $3 million maximum for continuing violations, according to spokesman Aaron Groote.
[Hat tip: Oliver]
: By the way, this is why I had a problem supporting Joe Lieberman: He’s a cosponsor of this travesty.
Michael Powell’s final spin
: As he leaves the FCC, Michael Powell finally gets the guts to say no to the so-called Parents Television Council and now he tries to take credit for everything from iPods to blogs… though I fail to see what the FCC had to do with either. He said on FoxNews:
If I tried to capture in a nutshell, we tried to do one thing, which was to get the law right in a way that would stimulate innovative technology and put more power into the hands of consumers. And I think all you have to do is walk into an electronics store today and look at a TiVo or buy an iPod, or look at some of the phones that are available today, and you will see the vision coming into fruition.
If you look at the Internet and the role that it played in the election and the political campaign, if you look at the fact that an Internet blogger can bring challenge to a network as formidable as CBS, you realize that more and more democratization of technology is leading to strong consumer value and that’s what we’re most proud of. And that’s what we really wanted to focus our agenda on.
[Hat tip: TVSHenry]
Media on media
: I’m on MSNBC twice tonight — at 6p and 9p — on the Oscars, the first time about the awards as awards and the second time about Passion of the Christ.
: I’m also set to be on MSNBC Wednesday at 12 regarding blogs and the Iraqi elections. Making a habit of this? I hope so.
Free the internet
: Hoder calls for ending the embargo on Iran — and other repressed nations — when it comes to the Internet so the people there can find and exercise their human right of free speech:
I really believe it’s time to use the momentum that “freedom for repressed people” rhetoric of Bush has created and ask for some of the stupid parts of the US embargo on Iran that only harm the free speech of the Iranian people to be lifted….
I think the whole thing deserves more attention from the American liberal media and, honestly, it’s a perfect topic for editorial writers of liberal newspapers, such as New York Times. Can anyone help?
‘Help my dad’
: The daughter of Roy Hallums, being held hostage in Iraq, started a web site about her father.
: Reuters says that three of five FCC commissioners have voted to turn down complaints about the use of the F word in Saving Private Ryan. Yes, that’s no surprise. But because the FCC refused to do that before the movie was to air — and because the FCC had just ruled that the F word was the first word decreed by government to be profane — 66 stations refused to show Ryan and I say they were right: They did not want to put themselves at risk for breaking the law the FCC had just made.
I quote from the FCC’s Bono decision:
…[W]e believe that, given the core meaning of the “F-Word,” any use of that word or a variation, in any context, inherently has a sexual connotation….
We conclude that the answer to this question is yes. The “F-Word” is one of the most vulgar, graphic and explicit descriptions of sexual activity in the English language. Its use invariably invokes a coarse sexual image…. If the Commission were routinely not to take action against isolated and gratuitous uses of such language on broadcasts when children were expected to be in the audience, this would likely lead to more widespread use of the offensive language….. The fact that the use of this word may have been unintentional is irrelevant; it still has the same effect of exposing children to indecent language. Our action today furthers our responsibility to
safeguard the well-being of the nation’s children from the most objectionable, most offensive language….
We also find, as an independent ground, that the use of the phrase at issue here in the context and at the time of day here constitutes “profane” language under 18 U.S.C.
And the winner isn’t…
: It’s a rare day when you can call Hollywood courageous but I give the Academy props for ignoring Fahrenheit 911 and all but ignoring The Passion of the Christ in today’s Oscar nominations. I know we’ll hear arguments that the Oscars are “wrong” because these movies both made a lot of money. Well, first off, the Oscars are always wrong; they’re just hooey and hype. Second, this is supposed to be (even though, of course, it often isn’t) a reflection not of the box office but of quality. And both movies sucked.
And I think that a best makeup nomination for Passion is nothing but an inside joke.