Tuesday, April 12, 2005


FCC Among 2005 Muzzle Award Winners� Tuesday, April 12, 2005 12:33 a.m. ET By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON Associated Press Writer RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission and the motion-picture rating board are among the 2005 winners of the Jefferson Muzzle awards, given for perceived squelching of free expression. The FCC was recognized for "substantially escalating sanctions for broadcasting 'indecent' material over radio and television airwaves but doing little to define such material," according to the Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. Other "muzzles" announced Tuesday in the 14th annual awards include the Democratic and Republican national parties for allowing authorities to curb protests during the 2004 presidential race; the Virginia House of Delegates for passing a bill criminalizing low-riding pants; and the U.S. Marshals Service for confiscating and erasing journalists' audio recordings of a speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Each year, the awards mark the April 13 birthday of Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president and First Amendment advocate. "This year there's a greater concern with the content of entertainment than we've seen for some time," said Robert M. O'Neil, director of the Charlottesville center and a law professor at the University of Virginia. The "wardrobe malfunction" involving pop singer Janet Jackson's exposed breast at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show played a key role in motivating the FCC to step up sanctions on broadcasters. Several months after the FCC fined CBS $550,000 for its broadcast, 66 ABC affiliates declined to air the World War II movie "Saving Private Ryan" on Veteran's Day out of fear that its graphic language and violence would invite FCC fines. The Motion Picture Association of America's Classification and Rating Administration won its Muzzle for initially giving Matt Parker and Trey Stone's movie "Team America: World Police" its strictest rating, NC-17, because it showed wooden puppets having sex. The movie's graphic depiction of the bullet-riddled bodies of puppet "celebrities" didn't raise eyebrows, but Parker and Stone had to submit increasingly tamer versions of the sex scene before the MPAA's panel would grant an "R" rating. The FCC fines and movie rating issues mark "a growing sense that government and private entities should be protecting society from unwelcome material, whether it's technically indecent or simply offensive and intrusive," O'Neil said. The Democratic and Republican national parties earned Muzzles for allowing police to suppress protesters during the 2004 presidential race, ostensibly to curb terrorism. At the Democratic convention, protesters were barred from the area immediately surrounding Boston's FleetCenter and an alternate "free speech zone" was set up about a block away in a fenced pen. At the GOP convention in New York, nearly 2,000 protesters were swept up in mass arrests. In Virginia, legislation targeting low-riding pants earned a Muzzle for the House of Delegates. The House approved the measure calling for a $50 fine on people whose pants hang so low that their underwear shows in "a lewd or indecent manner." Senators killed the bill two days later, after the issue made Virginia a target of mockery. The U.S. Marshals Service was cited for an incident last April in which Scalia was speaking at a Hattiesburg, Miss., high school and audio recorders belonging to two reporters, including an Associated Press reporter, were seized. Scalia later apologized for the incident and the government conceded the marshal violated federal law. ___ On the Net: Complete list of 2005 Jefferson Muzzles: http://www.tjcenter.org ~~~~~~ ALSO check out www.towardfreedom.com GOOD ONE =^.^= ~~~~~~~~

1 comment:

jon said...

We are trying to find good movie star to take the kids this weekend. Good movie star reviews are hard to find

I just stumbled onto your blog while looking. Seems to happen to me a lot since I am a knowledge mooch LOL