November 05, 2003

I'll make this brief. Wait, I Lied.

You knew it was inevitable--but it's fun to read anyway. Sort of. Well, if you consider taking long thin strips of bamboo, setting them aflame, and then ramming them under your fingernails fun. But enough about my Friday evenings...

I know Michele over at A Small Victory was having concerns over First Amendment issues with this thing, and in some ways I see the point, but mostly I can't be bothered. Why? Because even though CBS isn't airing the flick, it's still being aired by Showtime. So it's not like they took it outside, shot it, burned it, and then salted the earth around it to protect our tender eyes. But according to Babs, showing it on Showtime is censorship, because:

The movie will now be aired on Showtime, where the difference in viewership is in the millions.

However, anyone missing out on the CBS experience is welcome to subscribe to Showtime to catch what they missed, so I'm not really seeing the OMGWTF CENSORSHIP111!!!11 argument here. But whatever. I was unaware that censorship meant "lower ratings share."

The comedy of this piece comes from the following three paragraphs, in which Barbra starts talking about the Dixie Chicks as though she would have even the slightest inkling about Country Radio, its target demographic, or any red state reality at all. Wearing a cowboy hat on the cover of an album you recorded in 1978 isn't really the same as living in Texas.

She follows that up by saying that her sainted party would never, ever try to muscle the First Amendment. Wow. I need to pause for a moment because my head? Spinning. Doing a pretty good Linda Blair impression, in fact. Perhaps a short list is in order here:

1. Non-partisan reality check, sweetie: EVERYONE tries to manipulate facts to their advantage, and an easy way to do that is to try and limit or change the facts your opponents present. It's called playing politics. We can argue about degrees and successes here, but please pull your head out of your ass long enough to recognize that simple fact. No political party wears a halo.

2. If you think a bunch of folks being pissy about a movie and letting CBS know about it is proof of a well-oiled Republican machine and not representative of anything else...well, see #1 above for some advice.

3. Nice caveat about The Reagans being a MOVIE and not a DOCUMENTARY--did your lawyer advise you to do that to avoid any possible libel charges? Just checking. Also, do you think anyone at CBS would have gone out of their way to make that distinction? Me neither. So what do you think the audience would have assumed? Yeah.

4. Also, relegating a piece of crap movie to cable isn't a sad day for artistic freedom, unless you think that every time Jean Claude Van Damme releases some straight-to-video-and-cable feature it's also a sad day for artistic freedom.

But don't worry, Babs. Reagan will be dead soon. And in the meantime, I'm sure Showtime will still send you guys the royalty checks whenever they air the "movie."

Posted by Big Arm Woman at November 5, 2003 01:28 PM

Even if one accepts Babs's ludicrous premise that this was engineered by the Republicans, I love how Babs says that the Dems would never do such a thing.

My how she has so easily forgotten when Janet Reno, Bill Clinton's Attorney General, decided to have informal "discussions" with TV and Hollywood representatives regarding the Clinton Administration's concerns about media violence. Thanks to Janet's well-publicized threats of "shape up or we'll explicitly censor you," Michael Moriarty quit Law & Order in protest. Of course, Democrats never censor TV or Hollywood -- if one could only live in Bab's world in which all leftists are peace-loving and freedom-loving princes of virtue!

Posted by: Adam at November 5, 2003 01:55 PM

One minute she's asserting that it's, "a movie not a documentary", next she's whining about, "getting the facts out". What's wrong with picking an arguement and sticking to it. I personally believe that a "documentary" can only be considered "artistic" if it has Micheal Moore's name on it. Otherwise it should fall into the domain of journalism and give at least a passing glance to integrity.

Posted by: T R Saunders at November 6, 2003 01:37 PM

Wasn't the the bill of rights designed to limit the power of the federal govt? Was the fed govt involved in any way in squelching this movie? Am I violating BS's 1st amendment rights if I cancel my Showtime service? Somebody needs to hit this commie slut with a clue x 4.

Posted by: Jim at November 7, 2003 03:16 PM