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Fox Kicks the Habit Off the Flying Nun

Alternate Title: Gidget Gagged! (h/t 5th Estate)

Sorry for the silly puns but just couldn't resist. Seems Fox Broadcasting has become so concerned about shielding their audience from any sort of statements that don't fit into their larger narrative about the war in Iraq that they are now censoring anti-war acceptance speeches. Sally Field, best known for another memorable acceptance speech, spoke out against war in general at last night's Emmy's. Fox, however, is apparently not among those who "really like" Sally.
At tonight’s Emmy Awards show, the audience cheered Sally Field’s acceptance speech, which recognized the mothers of U.S. troops. “Surely this [award] belongs to all the mothers of the world,” she stated. “May they be seen, may their work be valued and raised. Especially to the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait. Wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm’s way, and from war. I am proud to be one of those women.”

Field then continued, “If mothers ruled the world, there would be no –” But the Fox Emmycast cut off her sound and pointed the camera away from the stage, silencing the rest of her sentence: “god-damned wars in the first place.”

Now even though it is debatable whether Field's colorful language warranted censorship, I probably would have been more understanding had she merely been bleeped. But pointing the camera away from the stage? Isn't that a bit much? Was Fox worried about lip readers? Yeesh.

In the end though, Fox may have shot themselves in the foot over this one as Joe Gandelman points out.
What remains puzzling is why a political statement so mild in this era of screeching talk radio and equally screeching weblogs is censored at all.

If the idea is to prevent it from going out on the airwaves, the next day the incident will be
all over the news, in newspapers and flash across the increasingly influential and demographically youthful Internet like a lightning bolt.

If she had been allowed to finish her comment, it would have merely been quoted and perhaps inspired some blog posts from conservative bloggers who had some extra time on their hands and had already done their other more important posts.

But by censoring her, her full statement will now get a LOT more publicity, the clip will be played and whoever censored her (Fox or some producer who apparently feared The Weekly Standard would not watch future telecasts) will come out of it looking silly, politically dumb and in the end ineffectual.

This is one "habit" that Fox could probably do without. Okay, I'll go put some coinage in the overused joke jar now.

More reactions via Meme.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Oh come on!

You couldn't manage "Gidget Gagged!" ?


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