Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Cinema Mensonges

Four years ago, I watched 9/11 on CBS, a documentary put together by two French brothers who'd been following around a NYC ladder company when 9/11 happened. It had scenes that captured the horror of the days like no other: the plane crashing into the North Tower, the sound of bodies falling as the firemen searched the tower, the new guy among the firemen watching from the house as he could do nothing. This was 9/11, in all its uncut horror.

Four years and one bared bosom later, CBS is pulling a reairing of 9/11 from some markets, afraid that the FCC will bring the hammer down. Perhaps most sickening is the reaction of the FCC to these accusations:

However, he said he understood the difficulties of small stations that fear the huge FCC fines. "We're not twisting arms," he said.

FCC spokeswoman Tamara Lipper said the commission routinely takes context into account in any decency analysis.

"We don't police the airwaves. We respond to viewer complaints," Lipper said. "We haven't seen the broadcast in question. It's up to individual stations to decide what they should air or not air."

See, what Ms. Lipper conveniently leaves out is that she knows there will be complaints. As the article states, organizations like the American Family Association already have their arms up in the air over the fact that a station might let the F word slip by in a documentary about the worst tragedy in American history. She knows that her organization has handed down million dollar fines on as little as three original letters from moralistic busy bodies who care more about one second of a washed-up pop singer's tit than all the dead in Darfur. And she knows that something will very likely happen.

We can have this bullshit propaganda stuffed down our throats, but when we want to think back to what 9/11 was really like, we have to work our way past people who care far too much about protecting us from those icky, icky swear words. So much for the "cinema of truth."

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