Friday, October 27, 2006

From the "Must Not See TV Department: The Dixie Chicks ad NBC doesn't want you to see

From Think Progress:

NBC is refusing to air an ad for the new Dixie Chicks documentary, “Shut Up & Sing.” Variety reports, “NBC’s commercial clearance department said in writing that it ‘cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.’”

Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing the movie, issued the following statement:

It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American.

The documentary, which opens this weekend in LA & NYC and in two weeks nationwide, has its own myspace page: Shut Up & Sing. My wife's a huge fan of theirs & will probably drag me to see this if it makes its way to Guymon. I'm not much of a country fan - there are a couple artists I like okay - but I do admire this particular group's willingness to express themselves at a time when to do so was and is unpopular, especially in C&W circles.

That NBC won't air the ad is hardly surprising. Any pretense of balance in the mass media died back in the 1980s when the fair use doctrine was killed off. The quality of network television took a nosedive in the years after that particular decision - it's obvious both in advertising choices made by the networks as well as in such areas as newscasts (which increasingly seem like something more befitting Stalinist USSR). It's definitely past time to revive fair use. Whether a Democrat majority in Congress would be up to that task remains to be seen.

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