Censoring the Emmys

By Matthew Yglesias

The talk of the coffee shop this morning is that last night at the Emmy's several speakers started saying something against the war or against the administration and, when they did, Fox just went to black rather than exposing the public to the treasonous words. Did this really happen? I'm not a big fan of celebrity political statements, but that's an impressive combination of creepy and ridiculous.

UPDATE: This doesn't sound quite as bad as what was described to me: "Sally Field got bleeped, for heaven's sake, at the end of her antiwar, pro-motherhood acceptance speech." Did she get bleeped for saying something profane?

UPDATE II: Here's a clearer explanation:

"If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn't be any god -" she said when the sound went dead and the camera suddenly turned away from the stage so viewers would be distracted. Chopped off were the words "god-damned wars in the first place." (The phrase was not censored in the Canadian telecast.) [...]

Technically, Field's censored words are not profane. A 2004 FCC ruling specifically stated no objection to the use of "god damn" on TV when making a judgment on the uproar over Bono swearing at the Golden Globes in 2003 where he used more colorful language.



Here's the ruling. This sounds very plausibly like an innocent error.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2007/09/censoring-the-emmys/46281/