. . . Wednesday November 10, 2004

Waiving Private Ryan

A lot of ABC affiliates around the country have decided not go ahead with advertised plans to air an uncut version of Saving Private Ryan on Veteran’s Day. The station owners said that they were concerned over possible fines from the FCC because of the violence and profanity in the film.

The movie was broadcast on ABC in 2001 and 2002. But these are new times. An era following the wardrobe malfunction that shocked a nation.

Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, explained the decision: “It would clearly have been our preference to run the movie. We think it’s a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces. We regret that the FCC, given its current timidity in dealing in this area, would not grant an advance waiver, which would have allowed stations like ours to run it without any question or any concern.”

These are increasingly pathetic times. But to describe the FCC’s current course of action as timid is probably missing the point. Saving Private Ryan is merely collateral damage in an all out war.

Welcome to the new America where even Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are considered too dangerous for primetime.

Concentration is important!