FlemmingLeer´s english blog: US self censorship    
 US self censorship7 comments
22 Mar 2004 @ 03:17, by Flemming Leer Jakobsen

Back in 1989, I was a UN-soldier in the Danish Contingent in Namibia. One thing that struck me was that at the time George Micheal had an album which in Denmark included the song ´I want your sex´

The tape I bought in Namibia did not include this song. I think the album was Faith. But my point is. At the time Namibia was a South African protectorate and had been it for some 50 years. They had strict rules as to what the black majority in Namibia could be allowed to listen to. Of course it was in the end of the Apartheid regime. (Mandela was released in 1990.)

But just now I saw a webcast on www.feedroom.com announcing that Janet Jackson was scheduled for an interview, which they announced was with a 7 second delay !

I mean. This is being broadcasted in home of the free, land of the frightened.. (ups..) brave. But just how brave are the Americans nowadays that they have to self censor and put in a 7 second delay. I certainly don´t expect that Janet Jackson will pull a stunt like the most famous Superbowl incident. I mean, she´s promoting a new album. And with the Christian Coalition monitoring her every move. I find it very very unlikely that she would even think of doing another stunt like that in the near future.

But this is just to show how far out US has gotten in the past 2 years. And I see the same thing happening here in Denmark. A youth programme on a Danish channel is currently under attack by people accusing them of showing too much skin (music videos and sexual information) in the afternoon for young kids.

I think somebody should be adjusting their compasses. They´re definetely IMHO not homing in on the important issues at hand in todays world.

According to a Danish Radio broadcast in january about the situation in Ethiopia some 7 million Ethiopians are without food here in March 2004. It was based on a Word Food Programme WFP estimate.


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7 comments

22 Mar 2004 @ 04:32 by jmarc : nobody required that delay
except for the people who owned the station. They, you see, must answer to their stock holders,and wanting to make money for their stockholders, they must find ways of keeping the mindless masses eyes glued to the tube.You and i may think that janets titties are just swell, but granny up the street who has relied on that station for a less shocking form of titillation, will turn the channel, resulting in less advertising dollars for the broadcasting company. Don't worry though, there's loads of Tv stations in this country where janet can bear her breasts or any other part of her anatomy if she desires, and those stations ratings will climb, climb climb. See it's a matter of whether little granny down the street has as much right to the airwaves without being shocked to death, as much a right as those who watch, say, empty-V. Do you believe that people don't have the right to self censorship, and should allow anyone to say or do anything on their property and time?  


22 Mar 2004 @ 15:18 by fleer : a country ruled by fear
What you describe is USA is ruled by fear. If the ratings go down, you´ll get fired. Well, I don´t think that anyone or any country should do this to them selves. After all, freedom of the press and freedom of speech are central elements of a democracy. If the broadcasters take the price of the stocks into consideration you´ll end of with meangless TV and where the politicians can get away with just anything. Maybe Watergate would not even make the headlines in America today. And that may be the real reason for the hundreds of TV channels in the US. If people are segmented in to emty-Vs and Discoveries, a single political issue is harder to get to the attention of the people. And sorry state for a nation that was once the key inspiration for many countries regarding political rights. A sorry situation for all nations with several TV stations competing with the same exact same shows with a different name. Including my own country, Denmark. But just how can environmental problems be the first item on the list. Or perhaps a weapon export ban ? So the real winners are the lobbyist with shortterm stock gains in mind and not people with real important long term issues. Well, what would a jesus do in todays world? He would have a real hard time getting the attention of people. Let alone getting the word out. Maybe he would have to start his own TV station?  


22 Mar 2004 @ 17:03 by jmarc : well, i disagree
although i loathe tv, it is market driven, but there are many markets and quite a bit of diversity. i'm certainly not being sheltered from any points of view, that's for sure. Each station has a different market share, waxing and waning by their content, and the public's whims yes, but that's how it should be, i think. Over all news channells seem to be a bit left leaning, but fox leans right, and though some will say they're all the same, there is also the internet and a vast array of print publications from which to get our news and entertainment. As far as it being harder to get the attention of the people, i say great! Todays do gooder may be tommorrows tyrant and i'd rather see 100 channels of crap than 5 channels of supposed quality Tv, because the power is more decentralized and we all know that absolute power corrupts. It's not up to the media to change the people, it's up to the people themselves. Having said that though i will tell you as i tell everyone, KILL YOUR TV! It'll rot your brain, no matter what the content.;)  


23 Mar 2004 @ 04:35 by jmarc : sounds like your straddling the fence
ourself jazz. so you agree that tv is crap, and self censorship is bad all in the same breath? Too many filters or no filters, which should it be? Fear is a valid emotion that is given us for a reason, to stop us from stepping over boundaries where there is no safety. Too much government control or a free market, which do you want. They do have cable where you are don't they jazzman? And sattelite tv? I myself think the only airway regulation should be use of bandwidth so people don't step on each other.No regulations should be put on speech, except for the people who pay for the licence to operate in a certain bandwidth. Of course having paid for the right to broadcast , the broadcaster has every right to decide what they broadcAST WHICH WAS THE CASE WITH THE SEVEN SECOND DELAY SITUATION DESCRIBED ABOVE. i THINK PEOPLE ARE CONFUSING FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, REALLY. sorry about the caps.  


23 Mar 2004 @ 07:16 by fleer : I have no TV
And this april it´s my 7th year without it. But when I watch broadcasts nowadays I´m much much aware of a certain angle in a newsflash and I´m not taking it for granted. (Yes, I was a news-koholic.... way back :)

Well, I see several disadvantages with 5 or more TV stations regarding getting certain issues on the top of the agenda. People´s attention span is so narrow these days that real important issues have several filters to pass through. And that´s just in order to get in to the news. I know from my active political grassroot career that 100´s of press releases never make it. And I really think that´s a major problem. I know of several grass roots net sites that try to bring issues out to the people. But not a lot know the sites exists at all. Maybe less than 1 % or even less of users. But also what I´m aiming at, is just how to make people take a interest in politics. I know several new age people here in Denmark that just don´t want to get their fingers in to the mess. But change is not only needed on the inside but also in real life politics. We sort of need more newciv.orgs outthere. Thank you, you 2 for input.
--
P.S.:
Also jazzolog, An employee of the Danish Army intelligence revealed in february that the Danish Army Intelligence had serious doubts about the WMD and the 45 minutes attack. They did not believe it and his material exposed the Danish Government arguments for the war as groundless, but nothing is happening. We still have the same government and the majority of the press supports the current government in one way or another. They are essentially owned by to corporations and one news channel (Danish TV2) has the wife of a former secretary of state as head of the news! He was chairman of the now major government party Venstre.  



23 Mar 2004 @ 07:25 by jmarc : thanks for having us
we probably have more in common than disagree. My problem lies more with the medium than the message. I live with someone who is an ardent tv watcher, so i sit in the same room as it plays, usually with my back turned to it. This gives me an interesting perspective, i think because i'm noticing things like levels of volume changing and flickering lights at certain times, that seem to be there for their hypnotic effects. So i'm thinking that it really doesn't matter what the content, in that it's all zombifiing, since there isn't much active participation required by the watcher.  


23 Mar 2004 @ 07:33 by fleer : jmarc: noticed the same
on Danish TV2 in the news broadcasts!

One interview I remember was with some police official and an opponent. I especially remember the background difference. When they both appeared on TV the opponent had a arrow running in the background pointing towards the police official. But the police official did not have the same disturbing graphics running in the background - other than some traffic. But that was in a loop and not in realtime.... My guess is that it happens on Fox news, right ? And yes, I think we have more in common..  



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18 Nov 2002 @ 01:24: FEAR



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