CNN is reporting that stations in multiple US states will not broadcast tonight's airing of the film Saving Private Ryan on the grounds that they may be fined by the current FCC.
Affiliates in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia said they were worried about running afoul of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.
WOI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa, for example, said it decided to pre-empt the Academy Award winning film, which depicts several violent battle scenes and contains foul language, over concerns about possible fines by the FCC.
Even "watch dog" groups are saying that it's about 'context' - that the FCC shouldn't fine a station for showing this film - in the same way they agreed that Schindler's List should not be banned or fined when it's shown on network TV during Passover/Easter.
The FCC says they can't comment on these reports:
Janice Wise, spokeswoman for the FCC's enforcement bureau, told Reuters it had received calls from broadcasters asking if the film would run afoul of the agency's indecency rules. Wise said the commission was barred from making a decision before the broadcast "because that would be censorship."
"If we get a complaint, we'll act on it," she said.
It's an Academy Award-winning film airing on Veteran's Day as a means of honoring our veterans! I'm not a huge fan of the film (a bit too Spielbergian in my humble film school mind) but is this what we're coming to? Afraid to air quality films that depict history - however unfortunate, tragic, violent and bloody it might be? I'm not saying you allow children to stay up and watch it, but this is war! We're at war! Are Americans so feeble-minded that we can't decide when to turn off our own televisions now?
Sorry. Censorship is near and dear to my heart. The dumbing down of America by media is bad enough, but this is bad - very bad.