Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What the #$%&?

The American Family Association is trying to drum up a campaign to stop CBS from airing the documentary "9/11" on September 10, 2006, uncensored - that is, with the profanity uttered by the firefighters, cops, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), and bystanders in the documentary, shot on-site that awful day, uncut and unbleeped.

Because it's just fine to get all weepy about the sacrifices of the brave heroes who suffered and who died on that awful day. In fact, it's even fine to create tacky, kitchsy, heartstring-tugging consumer goods commemorating them, and it, for pathos and profit.

But see them as real people? Big, sweaty, rough-edged blue collar guys with New York accents who let a "goddamn" or a "fuck" slip out when they are facing the most overwhelming, terrifying, confusing, rage-generating day of their entire lives?


This is no made-for-tv movie, folks. This is the gritty documentary shot by two French filmmakers who happened to be shadowing a rookie NYC firefighter on the day his ladder crew was called to answer the worst call in New York City's history. It is by far the best depiction we have of what happened that day from the perspective of the emergency response crews. A lot of the guys in the film who are seen running up WTC stairs never got to run back down them, and out into the sunlight, not ever again.

And in the process, the filmmakers captured a lot of blue language on tape from the mouths of those brave, annoyed, frustrated, men. And CBS wants you to hear the sound as it was recorded, that day, on tape as events unfolded.

What's that, you say? Those who find the profanity offensive can just not watch?

How dare you deny these bowdlerizers their right to wallow in the pathos of reliving the anniversary to the fullest on their terms! They're the Christian right - they own 9/11!

Dear God, won't someone think of the children?

Initially in this post, I suggested people use the AFA's own web form to contact the FCC, substituting their text for the pre-written text provided by the AFA. A friend of this blog commented that nobody at the FCC is going to have time to read the contents of all those emails and they have a heavy risk of being counted as "from the AFA" and supporting their position. So, fire up your own email program and send an email to the FCC at Mine went something like this:

"Dear FCC,

I ask that you respect human decency and dignity and allow the documentary "9/11" to be aired by CBS affiliates in its entirety on September 10, 2006, with profanity intact. I encourage you to refuse to exercise your option to heavily fine stations which air it uncensored.

The brave men and women depicted in this program were real people. They lived real lives and many died real deaths on September 11, 2001. Their words are real expressions of fear, dismay, confusion, heartbreak and anger.

Affiliates are being urged to warn viewers heavily of the profanity in the documentary. Anyone who does not want to be exposed to it, or who does not want their children exposed to it, will have ample opportunity to change the channel.

Please, do not be pressured by so-called "Family Associations" to prohibitively fine stations for this broadcast. Please do not support the censoring of these heroes' words. Instead, show respect for the sacrifice of those depicted in the film by allowing them to speak their reality unfiltered.


Feel free to copy and paste my version here


This post has been edited since it first appeared.


Anonymous Cousin S said...

People who are that easily offended by real people saying real things during real traumatic events can't be living real lives.

I will forward a copy of your version with my name.

4:15 p.m.  
Blogger Carl said...

Ronnie, you have a broken link in your article. First "here".

12:38 a.m.  
Blogger Carl said...

Oh, and of course I agree here and will write the FCC.

12:38 a.m.  
Blogger Mike said...

Well, hang on a minute -- by using that form, you're adding to the number of demands for censorship, because nobody is going to read each of those letters. They'll just tote up the number than arrive.

Send a separate email with a subject line that says what YOU mean, not what Don Wildmon wants you to say. Try this address:

7:35 a.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

Thank you Carl. Mike, there isi a certain satisfaction in using the AFA's own webform but you're right, they're going to be seen as being "from the AFA" and not read individually. The blog post has been edited to reflect this.

9:22 a.m.  

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