First Amendment Stuff

From CNN Entertainment comes a story on First Amendment movies:

If you don’t think the First Amendment
is a burning issue, you’ve already forgotten the ruckus over "Saving
Private Ryan" just three weeks ago.

Spooked by how the Feds
might punish them, 66 ABC affiliates played safe by squelching that
acclaimed war film. Their excuse was its handful of swear words.

The FCC investigates if there are complaints. If people do not like the movie’s language, change the channel! But, the point of the story, once CNN get’s past it’s subtle shots at the Bush Admin (did you know that the biggest hardass on the FCC panel, Michael Copps, is a Democrat?), is about 4 films on the Sundance Channel and Court TV about First Amendment issues.

This is an excellent time, then, for "The First Amendment Project,"
four short films that, seizing various entry points, examine with flair
what "freedom of expression" really means — and the threats it’s

First up is one about Al Franken and Fox News, and Franken’s cribbing of Fox’s "Fair and Balanced" slogan. Is anyone giving Phil Jackson (of Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers fame) crap over his copyright of "Three Peat?"

Next is about a poet who lost his government funding. Old topic, but why in the hell is the government funding a poet anyhow? Let him earn his own way. Ask me if I care.

The 4th one might have been interesting, but Lenny Bruce has never held any interest for me.

It is the 3rd one on the list, "Some Assembly Require," that annoys me.

"Some Assembly Required" travels back to the Republican National
Convention in Manhattan, where the need for security collided with the
First Amendment rights of protesters to assemble peaceably — and where
the First Amendment took some serious hits.

"Every tyrant knows that if you can eliminate spaces where people
assemble, you can protect yourself really well," says one speaker in
noting how freedom of assembly is an innate part of the First Amendment.

film, by John Walter ("How to Draw a Bunny"), follows a couple of
rather ordinary Americans as they, with some half-million others,
exercise their right to dissent. The resistance they encounter is
captured in footage you probably didn’t see on TV news.

So, how about the Democratic National Convention, where people were put in cages? Does this not cause a blip on the radar, or are we basically looking at another anti Bush/GOP film? Doesn’t Freedom of Speech work both ways? Are GOP and Bush supporters not allowed to air their views?

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I will not argue that some arrests at both Conventions were beyond the norm: but which Convention had protestors smearing feces on themselves so that the police wouldn’t touch them?

Some Assembly Required will air Tuesday, December 14th on Court TV at 10:00pm, and an encore on Sunday, December 19th at 11pm, all times Eastern. I will be interested to see the entire thing.

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One Response to “First Amendment Stuff”

  1. Pops says:

    I don’t mind these people making movies about whatever they like. But when I watch a documentry I expect facts, not inuendo.

    Film makers today can’t seem to see anything through their lenses that disagrees with their political bent. So before a film can be called a speach, it should announce it’s intended meassage in advance. Then people will know that if there are any facts contrary to the given prespective, They’ll have to find them elsewhere.

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