"If public broadcasting begins to pixelate lips, such scenes would become excellent fodder for Leno, Letterman, Stewart and others — and for some viewers, the sight is bound to introduce humor in scenes where that is entirely inappropriate and distracting."And he has a few thoughts about what's behind the new rules:
It strikes me that PBS's lawyers are merely reflecting rising broadcaster fears of another F-word — the FCC. The commission has been revving up its "war on indecency" and now has a new congressional mandate that increases the maximum fine for broadcasters by a factor of 10, from $32,500 to $325,000 per utterance. What this means for public broadcasting is pretty simple: more self-censorship by producers.We've touched on this issue beforee, but the lip-pixelating issue obviously takes it a step further. Would such requirements impede the reality of the news? Or does the rule offer a legitimate way to enforce decency on public airwaves?