NBC Deletes Rap Star's Remarks on Telethon

Vanni Fucci
www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090405G.shtml (external - login to view)
Well I watched it on the eastern feed and it was the best part of this fundraiser.
GL Schmitt
Here is another case of how technology makes an *** of the censor.

Not that there was any law being broken, but the authorities sanitized Kanye West’s comment, for whatever sycophantic reason the broadcast executive’s servile bain conceived.

West’s comments were not spoken in the emotionless phases of the usual news reporter, nonetheless, he merely spoke in facts.

I don’t doubt that West hates the way blacks are portrayed in the media, the differences of labels certainly was no scoop, and Bush himself had given the unnecessarily draconic order to “shoot to kill.”

If forced to find a justification, I would say that NBC allowed West’s earlier statements to stand, and only cut his mike once he trespassed from reportage into editorialization. But, West was not there as a news reporter, he was there as a citizen, and entertainer, and as an obligatory black success story.

He did not utter a profanity! Well, yes he did, but the President’s name is not usually bleeped. He did not expose his breast, or suffer any other wardrobe malfunction. He merely stated his opinion, exercising his First Amendment rights, as a citizen of the United States of America.

NBC cut Kanye off in the East, and censored him in the West, but to what purpose?

Time was, that would have effectively squelched the comment. There may have been some people in the East who remembered the comment and whispered about it amongst their friends, but no one in the west would have heard it. That’s how things were done in the old days.

Trouble is, these old media farts still cannot get their head around the fact that they are no longer in charge of the media landscape, they only have a very powerful voice, amongst millions and millions of tiny voices.

They censored Kanye West and within moments, no doubt hundreds of people had edited out that portion of the broadcast, formatted the clip, and posted it on their blog with comments either appropriate or inappropriate.

Before the western feed had ended, West coast viewers not only knew that their program was a bowdlerised version, but they already knew exactly what they had missed, because they had – if they wanted – seen it.

Bloggers passed it back and forth until news services were forced to carry it, or abrogate their contracts as a news service. By the next day, the networks had it on their looping newscasts, playing over and over until the news cycle was completed.

I did not see NBC's "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" when it was broadcast. For one reason, my taste for popular music ossified somewhere around the beginning of the 80's. But, I did get to see it on CNN. I “own” a copy in Windows Format that I downloaded from Crooks and Liars (external - login to view), which I will keep, at least until I can find it in an MP3 version to burn on a disc for my archive of historic curios.

Had NBC not censored Kanye West, it may or may not have been reported. No doubt some fans would have taped the program, and so kept a record of West’s remark. Possibly the networks might have reported something like, “Kanye West, departing from scripted remarks to address his disappointment in media’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and some sharp criticism of President Bush.”

However, they did try to censor Kanye West's comment, they no longer have that ability, and so everyone has heard it, heard it several times, and each time has realized that NBC executives thought it was an important enough comment, to try to squelch.


Technology has made an *** of the censor.

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