A Moron In A Hurry

July 3, 2006

Christians and the Media

Filed under: Uncategorized — nick @ 10:35 pm

Two developments in the culture war that deserve mention.

A few weeks ago CBS was fined $3.3 million by the FCC for an episode of Without a Trace feating a flashback to an afterschool orgy (without any nudity).  The Parents Television council manufactured all but 2 of the over 4,000 complaints the FCC recieved.  The really sad part is that the episode originally aired months earlier, drawing no complaints, and the complaints that the rerun drew were not submitted until weeks after, once the PTC hosted the clip on its website and asked visitors to generate complaints.  CBS has, not surprisingly, challenged the FCC’s fine by declaring the complaints invalid since none were written by people who actually saw the show.

Ars lays out the whole story, while Copyfight questions the FCC’s latest attempt at censorship, both of which are worth reading.

Best of all, the PTC originally hosted a clip of the scene on its website (courtesy of the Wayback Machine), but has since taken it down and altered the page.  I can’t help but wonder if CBS threatened to sue for copyright infringement – I mean, people have been sued for less – and perhaps that would be an effective strategy against future manufactured PTC complaints.

The second part of this story involves outrage that the movie Facing the Giants, a Christian-themed movie, recieved a PG rating rather than GAccording to its website, the movie:

Follows the story of a football coach at a Christian high school who uses his faith in God to guide and strengthen the decisions he makes at home and on the field with his players.

The website also offers several testimonials, from college football coaches to NFL players, attesting to the power of Christianity in football.  This time Rep. Roy Blunt is leading the crusade in accusing the MPAA of giving the movie a PG rating because of its religiosity.  The MPAA denies this, duh, but Blunt trumps this as a further sign that the MPAA ratings process is a bunch of bunk.

Shit.  No one complained when Radio was rated PG and I can’t imagine this movie being any more tame that that.  It’s football!  And football involves at least a modicum of violence.  Little Giants: PG.  Remember the Titans: PG.  Rudy: PG.  Come to think of it, has any football movie ever been G rated?

But complaining about a Christian-themed movie getting a PG rating – the position being that a “Christian” movie should have a G rating almost by definition – is amusing for two reasons.  First, it seems as if it’s just desserts for religious inspired complaints against the FCC.  The FCC is supposed to protect “the public” and not every parent wants to bring their child to a Christian movie.  That’s a fair choice for a parent to make, hence the “Parental Guidance Suggested” label.  Second, it gives a little fodder for the “what rating would the MPAA give the Bible” debate.  Murder, rape, incest, fire and brimstone, mass smotings, and epic battles, all conducted under the watchful eye of a vengeful deity, would probably not recieve a G rating.

Seems to me that the groups that complain most about parents not having the tools to protect their kids aren’t so keen about having the tables turned on them.


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