Yes, Another Reason to Subscribe to Reason (Veteran's Day Edition)

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So some 20 TV stations won't air Saving Private Ryan, Stephen Speilberg's suspiciously timed baby boomer shout out to the Greatest Generation. Why are these stations acting so unpatriotically? Are they now affiliates of Al Jazeera, CBS, or some other anti-American cabal?

Nope, they're just afraid of the U.S.'s own Federal Communication Commission, which regulates content on broadcast TV and radio, hammering them with fines if viewers protest the violence and language in the World War II flick. Whole story here.

And the reason to subscribe to the glorious, in-living-color print edition of Reason, called "more interesting than any other political magazine I read" by Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds?

In our January issue, which is already in the hands of subscribers, we've got an in-depth, exclusive interview with the FCC's own Michael Powell, where we grill him on the fine-happy nimrods at his agency. And an equally in-depth, exclusive Q&A with Penn Jillette, who lays into those who would squelch free speech (and even the Dixie Chicks).

For just $19.95–an amount you can find in your mom's purse!–you can buy a year's worth of Reason–"a brilliant magazine, written and edited by brilliant people," sez Dave Barry–and a copy of the new anthology, Choice: The Best of Reason, which features forewords by Drew Carey and Christopher Hitchens along with the finest prose we've committed to paper over the past decade. Go here for details.

NEXT: Tropicalismo in Power

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  1. Sure Nick, you grilled him, but you could have done the ‘red herring’ thing and accused him of being there because of his daddy.

  2. “‘Now, after much concern and discussion about family viewing over past months, and with Americans at war across the world, it is the vivid depiction of violence combined with graphic language proposed to begin airing at 8 p.m. that has forced our decision,’ said Lee Armstrong, the station’s vice president and general manager.”

    Yes, in this time of national turmoil, it is infinitely more respectful to wait until 10pm to air a vivid depiction of violence combined with graphic language.

  3. “Mmm, grilled herring…”

    I tried it once, but I thought it was a really just a distraction from the main course …

  4. Money quote at CNN
    “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””

  5. Regarding FCC spokesperson Wise’s remark, I was told the same thing when I called the FCC (anonymously) to see if I could say “blow job” on the radio: “We can’t tell you; that would be censorship.” I then asked, “Well, will you fine me and the station $27,000 if I say it?” Same answer. At a risk of $27,000 a pop, it seems we don’t have free speech, but very expensive speech. This country gets scarier every day.

  6. You know that that the FCC is going to use the “public’s airwaves” argument to go after the currently unregulated cable and satellite TV/radio operations, since they all use spectrum to bounce their feeds at some point during delivery.

    Which leads to the next logical extension to purifying our bodily essences — errrr, I mean airwaves: cell phones. Aren’t cell phones using “the public’s airwaves”? Isn’t that enough reason to levy a fine if I tell someone to “fuck off” on a cell?

    And what about wireless networking? Shouldn’t the several instances of “fuck” in this post (not to mention porn) be cause for FCC concern? I see this as being a possible entry point for federal censorship of the Net. They could argue that as long as a single computer can access the Net over regulated spectrum, then the Net as a whole is subject to decency standards, just like TV and radio.

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