Tuesday, October 12, 2004


No sex please, we're the FCC

This has the FCC exercised:

Whipped cream stunt may cost Fox $1 mil

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- The Federal Communications Commission is said to be preparing to levy a fine of $1 million or more against Fox Broadcasting Co. and its affiliates for running afoul of indecency regulations in April 2003 with an episode of the reality show "Married by America," sources said.

The impending action, first reported in Monday's edition of Television Week, is expected to be announced by the commission as early as this week. Fox officials declined comment, and FCC representatives could not be reached for comment Monday because of the Columbus Day holiday.

But sources said the content in question involved lascivious banter among "Married" contestants and a segment that involved contestants licking whipped cream off each other's bodies.

Television Week reported that the fine stemmed from a complaint lodged by watchdog group the Parents Television Council. The scrutiny of "Married" comes less than a month after the FCC formally issued its $550,000 fine against CBS for Janet Jackson breast-baring incident during the Super Bowl telecast in February.

But not this:
Is Fox News literally making stuff up out of whole cloth about John Kerry? I don't expect much from this Republican operation. But this does seem to break new ground. If you go to the front page of the Fox News site, there's a link right there up front to "Trail Tales: What's that Face". Link through and you find this ...

Rallying supporters in Tampa Friday, Kerry played up his performance in Thursday night's debate, in which many observers agreed the Massachusetts senator outperformed the president.

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" Kerry said Friday.

With the foreign-policy debate in the history books, Kerry hopes to keep the pressure on and the sense of traction going.

Aides say he will step up attacks on the president in the next few days, and pivot somewhat to the domestic agenda, with a focus on women and abortion rights.

"It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures," Kerry said.

Kerry still trails in actual horse-race polls, but aides say his performance was strong enough to rally his base and further appeal to voters ready for a change.

"I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy," the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent.

A "metrosexual" is defined as an urbane male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.

Did Kerry really say that stuff? Stuff that sounds like classic winger parody? I looked around on google and no other reporters seem to have gotten those choice quotes from Senator Kerry. A source on the Kerry campaign told me Kerry certainly didn't say anything remotely like that.

So what's the story from Fox? Are these quotes real? Made up? Unidentified parody? Straight-up fabrications?

-- Josh Marshall

Or this:


This is from yesterday's Washington Post story about Sinclair's decision to air the anti-Kerry documentary Stolen Honor:

The documentary's producer -- a small production company in Harrisburg, Pa., headed by a former journalist, Carlton Sherwood -- has no official connection to the Swift boat group.

Apologies for repeating myself, but let me give you this link again -- it's to a September 29 press release that acknowledges a direct connection between the Swift boat liars and this film:

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a non-partisan, non-profit group representing more than 250 Swift Boat veterans who served with Senator John Kerry in Vietnam, announced today they are joining forces with a group of American prisoners of war who were held captive by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. The merger coincides with a new $1.4 million television ad campaign released by the new group Swift Vets and POWs For Truth...

The POWs also released a new 40 minute documentary titled Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, produced by Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award winning journalist Carlton Sherwood (http://www.stolenhonor.com/)....

So what's going on here? It seems to me that the mechanism for attacking Kerry's war record may well have been designed months ago: The Swift boat guys organize themselves as a 527, do a book, and run ads, and at roughly the same time Sherwood does a documentary "independently" (while arrangements are made with GOP-friendly Sinclair to show the film on TV in the fall). Then, in the closing weeks of the campaign, the Swiftees' 527 join forces with a heretofore distinct group to release Sherwood's "independent" film.

If the documentary had been made under the aegis of the Swift boat guys' 527, it would be seen as a political ad and couldn't be shown on TV as "news" during the campaign. Conversely, if the Swiftees hadn't organized as a 527, they couldn't have run ads.

And yes, I think Karl Rove called this elaborate square dance.

Sad world we live in.
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