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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: If you had a magic wand, which bits of offensive TV would you censor for yourself?

UPI yesterday reported that Turkish television authorities have lost a bid to ban smoking from local airing of Mad Men… by digitally blurring out cigarettes:

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 16 (UPI) — Two Turkish television stations were each fined $33,000 for airing shows such as the U.S.-produced “Mad Men” that feature smoking.

The fines levied by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television were successfully challenged by channels E2, which airs “Mad Men” and TV8, which airs the popular French cartoon, “Tin Tin,” the Hurriyet newspaper reported Tuesday.

The stations argued the various programs had been produced before the on-air smoking ban was instituted, the newspaper said.

Additionally, the required practice of blurring out cigarettes was criticized as counterproductive by one of the board’s members, who said the distortion attracts more attention.

The Supreme Board lost, but still: what a brilliant idea! We could all just erase away with the bits of a show we don’t like while leaving everything else intact. (As commenters at a Jezebel post on the story noted, while the Turks may have a problem with historically accurate smoking, apparently historically accurate rape and misogyny is a-okay with them.) It’s like a neutron bomb for TV!

If you had a magic wand, which bits of offensive TV would you censor for yourself?

I don’t watch sitcoms, but if I did, I would replace the face of every dumb, pudgy, ugly, obnoxious, childish sitcom husband whose sitcom wife is beautiful, slender, and noble for putting up with all his bullshit with a still of George Clooney. It still wouldn’t make those shows watchable, though…

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • RyanT

    Ban any reality TV show involving kids. I’m sure there are some “good” ones out there, but I’d rather just blanket ban everything for the sake of sanity.

  • Alli

    I’d replace every Fox News “anchor” and pundit with a kitten.

  • zepto

    I would ban all watermarks and pop-up ads.

  • I’d do some sort of reverse charm where everyone watching will have the offensive-to-them bits amplified.

    I hate it when people get offended, continue to watch and then complain. If you are offended – turn the channel (there’s 500+ channels of crap to watch) or turn it off and go for a walk.

    And for those of you who use the “Think of the children” argument, monitor what your kids watch. Better still, become a program direnctor at home and allow only pre-approved DVDs to watch – or if you have a DVR, store up approved programs. If that’s too much work, tell them to go and paly with some friends, or read a book!

    Thus ends the rant of a former TV programmer…

  • Ogami Itto

    If you had a magic wand, which bits of offensive TV would you censor for yourself?

    TV commercials; I’d ban about 99.9% of them. And Glenn Beck. The dude’s seriously deranged.

  • I wouldn’t ban much. Just my enemies.

  • aquila6


  • Accounting Ninja

    Seth MacFarlane’s rape jokes.

  • PattiH

    I’m with zepto–watermarks and pop-ups. Then I’d get rid of smooshed and time-compressed credits and make them run full screen at normal speed, like they used.

  • If you don’t mind my being retroactive, back when I was in college, it annoyed me when FOX messed with Star Trek to show more football. So I would have cut the ending of football games so I could watch the beginnings of my Star Trek: Next Gen episodes.

  • @Paul But football is important! STFU, nerd! ;)

  • Alli

    I agree with Accounting Ninja. I used to like that show a long time ago, but I haven’t watched it in years. Those rape jokes never have a hint of satire or irony, they’re just there to piss people off. Either that or MacFarlane really thinks rape is funny.

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