Monday, February 06, 2006

'Certified Censor' increasingly popular career choice in US

Is censorship becoming the norm in the United States?

Three high-profile censors materialized in quick succession during the past, oh, week or so: first Google, then NASA, and now the National Football League.

The NFL's victims were the Rolling Stones, or rather: Rock&Roll itself. On-duty censors blanked out two phrases from the Stones' Super Bowl halftime performance, in two hitherto uncontroversial songs: 'Start Me Up', and 'Rough Justice'.

They were able to do this because of the 5-second tape delay ABC imposed on the broadcast, thanks to Janet Jackson's 'halftime wardrobe malfunction' two years ago. ABC probably learned the '5-second-delay-and-finger-on-the-button-trick' from the Chinese authorities, who have been doing exactly that for years to foreign broadcasters like BBC World Service and CNN International.

Rock&Roll will never be the same.

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