January 26, 2008


The FCC issued a $1.43M fine against ABC for a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue. The episode contained shots of a woman's backside as she was getting into the shower.

Yes. The episode aired almost 5 years ago. It's like we live in a highly inefficient Iran. If you're going to have a committee for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, you might wanna try to get that work done within the half-decade.

Also interesting, only ABC affiliates in the Central and Mountain time zones have to pay the fine. I had hoped this was because the FCC had determined the coasts were too indecent to worry about. Unfortunately, it's because the episode showed after 10p out here. In Civics class, we never covered the "Butts are ok after 10p" clause of the first amendment.

Finally, my favorite thing about this story is that the FCC determined the broadcast was indecent because "it depicts sexual organs and excretory organs — specifically an adult woman's buttocks."

ABC tried to argue that the buttocks are not, definitionally, a sexual or excretory organ. The FCC responded by saying "Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense."

Aren't you dying to see the case law on this?

January 23, 2008


A CNN entertainment producer at the Sundance Film Festival tries to justify his coverage of Heath Ledger's death.

A Sundance press officer threatened to revoke our credentials if we asked any questions about the late actor. She said we were there only to ask questions about the film. I find that akin to someone in the White House telling the press corps what they can and can’t ask the President. I don’t think it serves us as a society to restrict what the media can ask in public settings.

Yes. It's just like you're a White House correspondent. You're Helen Thomas pressing for answers on why we invaded Iraq. Good work.

January 22, 2008


The trouble with writing an article on the announcement of the Academy Awards nominees is that the information contained is better displayed in a simple grid. The commentary is either mostly noise or an excuse to pun on the names of movies.

My favorite example of the latter comes from the San Jose Mercury News:

But for the time being, there is hope. And where there's hope, there is Oscar campaigning, which means a very real chance there will be sin without redemption. And possibly there will be blood.
Here's hoping(?) for that sin without redemption outcome.

January 07, 2008

Just to be clear

The Golden Globes announced that there will be no awards show, a result of the ongoing Writers Guild strike. The Screen Actors Guild had also convinced its members not to attend.

Instead of the regular show, they'll have a news conference and "millions of viewers worldwide will be deprived of seeing many of their favorite stars" as stated by Foreign Press Association president Jorge Camara.

The stars. They are going out!

Of course, they could have had the show just not with writing. Which would mean losing those scripted intro bits that everyone ... loves?

Another solution: the Writers Guild was unwilling to budge because NBC/Universal/Sheinhardt Wig Co. owns the broadcast rights. According to the NYT, folks like Jeff Katzenberg urged NBC to let go of the broadcast so that there could still be a live ceremony (for radio?). But NBC took the "if I can't have her, no man shall" approach.

My big hope is that the Jew-on-Jew violence that is the writers strike continues through February so we can see what happens when the Oscars roll around. At this point I want nothing less than the complete collapse of everything TV.