Smothered: The Great Smothers Brothers Censorship Wars (2002)
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I have a new respect for the Smothers Brothers...
I am unsure about the video, I actually haven't gotten to see it, but I do know these two are a great act... another pair to incorporate into my world later on.
I studied banned books in college. What I don't know about censorship in the US almost isn't worth knowing.
This, however, is not the aspect of censorship with which I am familiar. This is TV--[i]The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour[/i]. I studied literature.
Still, I did in fact know about this. I know they were investigated by HUAC for displaying a Mothers' Day card reading, "War is unsafe for children and other living things," which had not been approved by HUAC. Which was the first I knew that HUAC was approving and disapproving Mothers' Day cards, so.
Several of America's great humourists of the second half of the 20th Century were at one point writers for the show--Rob Reiner and Steve Martin, notably. Among their guests were great musicians such as Joan Baez and Pete Seeger--and the Who, if you care for the Who. (I don't.)
They were hired to be hip and controversial. They were hip and controversial. They were fired. Welcome to American TV at its finest, kids.
Long ago, the US Supreme Court decided that the motion picture industry was a business, not art, and therefore not covered under the First Amendment. (Yeah, I don't get it, either.) Presumably, TV is considered the same thing. This is why the FCC has the ability to prevent things from airing, such as swearing and nudity.
We in the US have always wanted to be seen as the shining light of freedom, but we seem to forget that we're perfectly willing to give up some of our rights if we don't agree with what's being said. The simple fact is, people have just as much right to disagree with you--and the government--as they do to agree with you. That's what the First Amendment is all about.
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