MEDIA WATCH: New fight starts over 'Saving Private Ryan'

Media coverage of the decision by 66 of ABC's 225 affiliates - including outlets in markets like Dallas, Boston, and Atlanta - to preempt the airing of Saving Private Ryan on Veteran's Day revealed a post-Super-Bowl-halftime broadcast industry clueless as to how to interpret the new FCC "indecency" rules.

Media coverage of the decision by 66 of ABC's 225 affiliates - including outlets in markets like Dallas, Boston, and Atlanta - to preempt the airing of Saving Private Ryan on Veteran's Day revealed a post-Super-Bowl-halftime broadcast industry clueless as to how to interpret the new FCC "indecency" rules.

Affiliates not airing the film cited "implied" government standards allowing fines of $27,500 for each use of profanity in the movie and potential loss of license if complaints were filed against them.

Most frequent messages

1. Media watchdog American Family Association has urged members to file complaints

2. Current FCC indecency standards are shifting and arbitrary

3. The FCC has created a climate of fear and censorship

4. 'Saving Private Ryan' depicts the reality of war and is not gratuitously indecent

5. This sets the stage for a showdown on the FCC's indecency policy

Based on analysis of 30 news items appearing in major-market dailies from November 13-15, 2004

Evaluation and analysis by Delahaye Medialink

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