Tuesday, February 17, 2004
beware of television!!!
This is a very odd story, that Neil Gaiman brought up on his blog. His post captures the pure weirdness of this, but basically what has happened is that a panel of 5 people (whose identities have not been officially disclosed, though one was discovered) were put together to get rid of close-captioning for about 200 programs that somehow do not live up to new "rules" for establishing which programs get close-captioning -- these new "rules," of course, are also not disclosed. Secret panel, secret rules. Furthermore, the panelists didn't even know what they were responsible for -- the Palm Beach article stated: '"They apparently used a panel of five individuals and then made the censorship decisions based on the individuals' recommendations," Mr. Brick says. "We have found the identity of one of the panelists. This individual tells us that he never knew he was on such a panel and that his views would be used for censorship. No panel was convened. The five panelists were contacted individually and separately."'
So what has been cut out? Scooby-doo, a bunch of sports programming, Law & Order, all sorts of stuff. There's a statement by the National Association of the Deaf, which states: "Most if not all of the censored shows are in fact educational and informative. These include reruns of family favorites such as “Bewitched” and modern shows such as “Law & Order.” “Disney Monthly Original Children’s Movies” and “Pokemon” cartoons, fixtures in today’s youth culture, are also being censored. Virtually all sports programming has been censored, isolating deaf and hard of hearing students of all ages, not only in the classroom, but within the family, at the school lunch table, and on the playground. The censorship of these shows not only prevents deaf and hard of hearing children from watching shows that help them learn about the trends, culture, and society around them, censorship also prevents deaf and hard of hearing parents from making informed decisions on appropriate programming for their children."
The Palm Beach article closes thusly, as will I:
'The NAD is lobbying Congress to change the policy. Some networks and sponsors are stepping in and providing captions for some of the "inappropriate" shows. But the government's dismissive treatment of 28 million Americans defies words.
'"We are outraged the department has taken paternalistic steps to exclude deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals," Mr. Brick says. "Such censorship is offensive and insulting."'
jane 11:22 AM [+]