Tom O'Neil, writing for LA Times' feature "The Envelope" described nicely what was probably the only interesting event in last night's Emmy awards show:
Producers of Sunday's Emmy telecast bleeped best drama actress winner Sally Field in the midst of a controversial acceptance speech attacking U.S. involvement in Iraq.To see how the conservative propaganda machine that is FOX news defended their mother network, you may read how they FOX News characterized the evening's events:
"If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn't be any god -" she said when the sound went dead and the camera suddenly turned away from the stage so viewers would be distracted. Chopped off were the words "god-damned wars in the first place." (The phrase was not censored in the Canadian telecast.)
...Technically, Field's censored words are not profane. A 2004 FCC ruling specifically stated no objection to the use of "god damn" on TV when making a judgment on the uproar over Bono swearing at the Golden Globes in 2003 where he used more colorful language.
Accepting her Emmy, Field stumbled halfway through, lost her train of thought, screeched at the audience to stop applauding so she could finish talking -- and then was bleeped by Fox censors as she stammered through an anti-war rant.Note how the LA Times listed the actual news event up front, while Fox buried the censorship bit at the end. For an account of the events as most of America saw it, Alessandra Stanley, a reporter writing for the New York Times who apparently saw the show on television like the rest of us, described the incident thus:
Sally Field of "Brothers & Sisters," who won best actress in a drama, seemed to be on the brink of speaking out against the Iraq war, perhaps with some profanity, but it was hard to know because Fox pulled the camera away and tuned out the sound.Yet to me, more troubling even than FOX's description of Sally Field's acceptance speech (really, "screeching?") was how Sally Field defended her own remarks. Ms. Field explained indignantly that she was merely attempting to speak about motherhood and, "didn't have a political agenda."
It is bad enough that Ms. Field is backing down and playing innocent. It is worse that she would lie about her intentions. But worst of all, it would seem she finds it reasonable for a conservative television network, acting in the public interest, to censor politically meaningful speech. So it's the pap and pablum that needs protection? Since when did "controversial" become a synonym for "inappropriate"? If Ms. Field's intended remarks evinced a similar depth of political insight, perhaps the cause of freedom was advanced further by the brouhaha surrounding her ill treatment than by anything she might have said.