Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Pre-empting of "Private Ryan" and Donald Wildmon

As expected Donald Wildmon and his group the American Family Assocation made a stink about the airing of Private Ryan on Broadcast TV. I plan to write on something myself but for now here Neal Boortz's take on this

Donald Wildmon, the leader of some group called "The American Family Association" has decided that he is going to file complaints with the FCC over the showing of "Saving Private Ryan" on Veteran's Day. In doing so Wildmon is showing a complete lack of appreciation for the sacrifices of the men who waded ashore at Normandy on D-Day.

Stephen Spielberg produced a movie that most veterans say was the most accurate depiction ever made of what these men went through. As such, it was a much-needed reminder to Americans, especially young Americans, of the horrors of war.

Donald Wildmon might be surprised to learn that our soldiers wading through withering German machine gunfire didn't yell "Golly!" or "Gosh darn it!" when they saw their friends fall. They didn't exclaim "Nuts!" when caught in a German ambush. Theirs was not a world of etiquette or political correctness. Survival was the goal, not cultural niceties.

Wildmon sent an email to his followers saying that ABC had the technology to bleep the bad words. ABC also had the technology to edit out all scenes of American soldiers getting killed. This didn't seem to bother Wildmon. An American soldier getting killed on film is not quite so upsetting to Wildmon as is the "F" word. Sorry .. but I just don't understand that frame of reference.

If Wildmon had bothered to research the issue he would have known that ABC's contract with Spielberg forbade any editing of the movie. Wildmon wasn't interested in facts. He was interested in self-promotion and control of public discourse.

No doubt Wildmon was prompted to take this action by the pathetic TV executives who decided that their stations wouldn't carry the showing of "Saving Private Ryan" last week. When it came to defending the concept of free speech and standing up for the veterans of World War II, these men and women were AWOL. They are in the same league with Donald Wildmon.



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