Worried Cbs Stations Drop Cbs 9/11 Film
More than two dozen CBS affiliates have decided either to drop or delay an updated version of the documentary 9/11 after some "family values" groups mounted a campaign to urge the FCC to fine the network and its stations for what one of their leaders described as "hardcore profanity" spoken by some of the rescuers who appear in the film. Congress recently increased the fines the FCC can impose on a station for broadcasting indecent language from $32,500 to $325,000. Martin Franks, executive vice president of CBS, said that the pullout by the stations represented "example No. 1" of the chilling effect on free speech of the legislative action and by earlier fines meted out by the FCC for the Janet Jackson incident at the Super Bowl two years ago. The Rev. Don Wildmon had asked the 3 million members of his American Family Association and other sympathizers to bombard the FCC and their CBS stations with complaints about the language in the documentary. But on Arianna Huffington's liberal blog, one message read: "Let me get this straight: It is perfectly okay for children to watch a documentary on 9-11 and see planes crash into the WTC; view footage of people jumping out of burning buildings; witness pandemonium in the streets of NYC; hear audio tape of real 911 calls; and see scenes of the wounded being treated at triage units; but it is NOT okay for them to hear curse words?"