AS I SEE IT
Well, the moral thought police are at it already regarding the WWF commercial on the Super Bowl.
Not just people who take offense at something they personally believe to be immoral. But those who propose to tell you and I that we can't make that choice.
I'm all for people exercising freedom of speech. I've written about more than a few items in this column that I thought were inappropriate in and around wrestling over the last 3 years in print and online. But my column is clearly labeled an OPINION COLUMN. If you disagree with my opinions...and many do...fine. That's America. You have that right. At least it means you're reading what I write.
But read excerpts from the following piece by Skip Wollenberg, Business Writer on the AP wire who reported on some people who don't think we should have that right.
"NEW YORK (AP) - Federal regulators are hearing complaints that the World Wrestling Federation went over the line of decency with its raucous Super Bowl commercial.
Two TV watchdog groups said Wednesday the commercial should not have run Sunday on a program with such wide appeal as the annual telecast of the NFL's championship game...
Robert W. Peters, president of the group Morality in Media, called the WWF commercial 'one of the most vile commercials ever aired on network TV' (my emphasis) EVEN THOUGH HE CONCEDED HE HADN'T SEEN IT...
The American Family Association, another group often critical of sex and violence on television, told the Federal Communications Commission that the ad fell within the agency's definition of indecency and should not have run in the early evening as it did on Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast."
Now think about that. The WWF commercial that aired during the Super Bowl was considered "one of the most vile commercials ever aired on network TV" by someone EVEN THOUGH THE ORGANIZATION'S HEAD CONCEDED HE HADN'T SEEN IT.
The American Family Association subsequently sent an "legislative alert" to its members regarding the WWF commercial, with excerpts reading as follows:
"ACTION NEEDED: AFA Alert members who were also offended by the commercial are urged to file an indecent broadcasting complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against your local FOX affiliate....
According to the FCC, it does not independently monitor broadcasts for indecent material. Thus, its enforcement actions are based on documented complaints of indecent broadcasting received from the public. Complaints should include: (1) name, time and date of a specific program or advertisement in question; (2) narrative of the complaint, including a transcript or tape of the program or of significant excerpts; (3) the date and time of the broadcast; and (4) the call sign of the station involved, radio frequency or channel number of station with its city and state location. If tapes of the broadcast are submitted, these tapes, of necessity, become part of the FCC's records and cannot be returned."
I have a better idea for anyone reading this column that believes in freedom of speech...or who believes the Titan commercial was amusing...or who is tired of groups of religious scolds telling you what you should do with your OWN life...
Write... or fax... or e-mail the FCC YOURSELF. Please indicate that you are writing a counter-complaint regarding the American Family Association (AFA) official complaint against local FOX TV affiliates, and calling on the FCC to investigate a local FOX affiliate's broadcast of the WWF commercial during the Super Bowl on January 31, 1999.
Let the FCC know that you think the United States Constitution still guarantees freedom of speech in advertising, and that the Titan commercial was in no way "indecent" or "offensive".
You can contact the FCC at the following address/fax number/e-mail address:
Federal Communications Commission
Complaints and Political Programming Branch
2025 M Street, N. W., Room 8210
Enforcement Division, Mass Media Bureau
Washington, DC 20554
While you're at it, drop an e-mail to your local FOX affiliate. You can look their addresses, fax/phone numbers, and e-mail addresses up at http://www.fox.com/affiliat.htm
Tell your FOX affiliate that you're a wrestling fan. Remind them that you support freedom of speech (and more likely important to them) their advertisers. Heaven forbid, even mention that you liked the ad if you did.
Time to do a little work, folks. Defend your right to watch adult programming... take the time to send out an e-mail or a fax to the FCC and to your FOX station today.
Until next time...
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org