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Chuck Lorre and Censorship

TelevisionPoliticsI really enjoy the TV show Two And A Half Men. This week was no exception.

One of the odd little pleasures of the show are the vanity cards for Chuck Lorre Productions placed at the end of the show. They often have pithy sayings or humorous quotes.

I was intrigued by this week’s card which read;

The powers that be “politely” asked me not to air the vanity card I wrote for this week’s episode. knowing exactly where I stand on the TV food chain, I “politely” folded like an origami swan. But that doesn’t mean the offending card can’t still be read. You just have to know whee to look. Hint. hint. Nudge. Wink.

A quick trip to turns up the offending vanity card.

Say what you will about Lorre’s misguided shots at our greater culture, he has a valid point. It’s odd that the FCC has no qualms with people dying slow motion deaths on a hundred cop shows per week, but they cringe like frightened school girls if they see a bare breast.

CBS, if they did ask Lorre not to air the letter, made a serious error. I think they could just as easily have asked him to remove the social commentary at the end, and left the comparative text.

It also says something sad about our government that the companies that produce television live in such perpetual fear of the FCC that they will trample the work of the creative people they rely on.

Censorship, when sponsored by the state, is an ugly thing, and one which Americans would rebel against. Instead, we have created a government with power to impose its will in other ways. Rather than censoring directly – which would be bad – they threaten the imposition of massive fines and regulations. They force companies to censor themselves to avoid the possibility of a fine.

That’s not a Democrat or Republican thing. This has been going on through many, many administrations. It is simply an error of the people. Only we can allow the wheels of our bureaucracy to run us over.

Written by Michael Turk