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cultural vandal | 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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