On Our Guard for Sin and Degradation


Meredith Wright sends us word of yet another casualty of the indecency crackdown, as reported by Lloyd Grove in the New York Daily News:

The Federal Communications Commission apparently has broadcasters so scared that radio stations that air "Broadway's Biggest Hits," a nationally syndicated weekly show, refused to air a satirical song from the 1975 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical "A Chorus Line."

WFAS-AM in Hartsdale, along with a station in San Francisco, substituted a G-rated tune from "Bye Bye Birdie" for "A Chorus Line's" "Dance: Ten, Looks: Three," which contains a comical reference to surgical enhancements and the showbiz-hiring advantages of "T & A."

"Biggest Hits" producer Bud Wilkinson, whose show is carried on three dozen stations, told me yesterday he won't include such racy material in the future.

"As a producer, I would love to, but as a businessperson, I'm caving, because my customers are concerned about being fined," he said. "And it just makes me want to vomit."

NEXT: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Telescreen

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  1. I’m a broadcaster. Last friday I watched Bill Maher tear into the networks for not airing more of the Democratic convention. My first thought was that networks have to deal with the post-Janet Jackson mentality, and do so by airing less live non-sports content. Given the inadvertant “shit” that made air after the balloons failed to fall, one has to wonder if the FCC would have brought charges against any broadcast networks who let it slip through.
    And, yes, I’m aware of how surreal the phrase “post-Janet Jackson” is.

  2. I guess that means they won’t be playing “The Internet Is For Porn” from “Avennue Q”…


  3. What’s weird about all this is Ronald Reagan was the guy who deregulated the airwaves allowing for the flourishing of freedom of speech we saw in the 1990’s.

  4. While listening to the Top 40 station (Clear Channel owned, of course) they played “This Love” from Maroon 5 and blepped out the double entendre from the verse “keep her coming every night.”

    I’m surprised that the pudes knew that “come” was slang for orgasm. I’d be much more surprised if I discover that they ever had one themselves.

  5. which contains a comical reference to surgical enhancements and the showbiz-hiring advantages of “T & A”

    “Contains”? “T&A”?

    This article makes it sound like a song got cut because of a one-off use of the term “T&A” and a joke about plastic surgery. The reality, as people familiar with “A Chorus Line” know, is that the entire song is about the virtues of plastic surgery, and most of the verses contain the phrase “Tits and Ass”. It’s kind of amusing that the newspaper itself won’t print the words.

    That doesn’t mean that the FCC has any business fining a station for playing the song, of course.

  6. No more “Volunteers” from Jefferson Airplane.

    Boo hoo. Well it is just a bunch of lefty sentiments anyway.

    I did like the refrence to Kerry in the song.

  7. Prudes can be great in bed, dude.

  8. Note how just the possible threat of punitive action by the government can have a chilling effect on the exercise of free speech. Note also how free enterprise is being repressed in this case as well.

    It doesn’t matter what the categories are, it’s liberty that’s being repressed. I believe we can justly say that: Free Speech is the Capitalism of the Mind

  9. M. Simon, what on earth are you talking about?


    Look what’s happening out in the streets
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    Hey I’m dancing down the streets
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    Ain’t it amazing all the people I meet
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    One generation got old
    One generation got soul
    This generation got no destination to hold
    Pick up the cry
    Hey now it’s time for you and me
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    Come on now we’re marching to the sea
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    Who will take it from you
    We will and who are we
    We are volunteers of America

  10. M. Simon,

    The real value of freedom speech is not to protect speech we like, but rather to protect speech that we don’t like!

    For example: For my part, I will always defend, with vigor, your right to speak in favor of our government’s current hyper-interventionist foreign policy even though, I consider that very policy to be an intrusion on my rights.

  11. More showtunes-related casualties, please.

  12. “More showtunes-related casualties, please.”

    Hey, I just thought of this.. maybe this is another way the Puritans are trying to fuck over the gays. Who are they going to go after next.. Liza and Barbara?

    I really, really fucking hate it when the prudes cut up or alter music. Baby, we couldn’t get much better, and let’s spend some time together.

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