Skip to comments.What's Next? [Barbra Streisand feels a Chille Wynde (tm Tim Robbins-Sarandon)]
Posted on 11/10/2003 5:06:59 PM PST by pogo101
Two Sundays ago, CBS broadcast their grand 75th anniversary celebration. Audiences were reminded of the rich history of a network that has, until now, put artistic integrity and principled news above politics. From I Love Lucy to Murphy Brown in the entertainment arena and from Walter Cronkite to the impressive team behind 60 Minutes in news, we have come to depend on CBS for their high quality programming. As a wonderful recent letter to the New York Times reminded me, it was Edward R. Murrow of CBS who stood up to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, "a genuinely risky thing for Murrow to do," but also an important action that signaled the beginning of the end of McCarthyism. CBS ought to understand by now that when concerns over political consequences start to shape entertainment and news, everybody loses. We need to be able to trust our public airwaves to depict views and ideas that do not cater solely to a small but vocal minority.
It seems impossible to believe that CBS has really cancelled the airing of The Reagans - the first time in the history of television that a program has been cancelled just before airing due to political pressure. The movie will now be aired on Showtime, which is broadcast in 14 million homes versus the 108 million homes that can tune into CBS. People should be able to see this movie, or choose not to. What is the network so intimidated by? It couldn't possibly just be the suggested "boycott." If the show had aired, everybody would have probably tuned in just to see what all the fuss was about and few advertisers would want to miss out on that. One possibility, which I have seen mentioned many times, is that CBS' parent company, Viacom, is concerned about the implications for the proposed new FCC regulations that would allow them to expand their markets. Perhaps they don't want to alienate key Republican support for these FCC changes.
The potential implications of CBS' decision are scary and stifling to the creative process. Will artists now feel compelled to censor their work when dealing with any sort of controversial subject? Will it be okay to tell the truth? This is just one television movie, but the fact that the right wing now feels emboldened to go after everything it does not agree with undermines the principle of democratic debate that we all depend on in this country. One can only wonder ...what's next?
Oh, I don't know, Babs, why not try it and see? Just once?
Now Barbra wont stand for letting minority views and ideas have a say. How facist, how Nazi, how racist, how Barbra!
I searched for this idiotorial earlier today and didn't see it posted (I held off on posting it). I didn't even consider searching "General Interest" (land of moose and cheese). At least it did appear on the sidebar (otherwise I would have missed it completely).
Oh the horrors...artists will now have to tell the truth when they try to do a character assassination. This is just horrible.