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Old 01-26-2005, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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PBS show 'banned' for depicting gay couples.

I was reading some stuff on MSNBC's website, because I feel it at least
tries, and noticed that PBS, your Mr. Rogers station, received a written
complaint from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, saying that, in one of a cartoon show's
episode - which is geared towards teaching through television - the depiction
of two lesbian couples in Vermont is something that should not be shown
and something that kids should not be exposed to. (The cartoon is called,
"Postcards for Buster," where he goes around to different areas of the
country viewing how the people there live their lives, among other things.)

My gripe here is, in this new age of equality and tolerance, and show that tries
to teach kids one thing or another, funded through Congress, is being lambasted
for what amounts to PBS trying to show that the gay lifestyle, no matter how
out of the norm you think it is, is a very acceptable way of life, and they live
their's just the same as anyone else: this show being about farming in VT.

Take a look at the article here, and lemme know what you think.
I think it's utterly ludicrous, as can be seen above.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6869976/
-------------------------------------------
Please post content, not just links, whenever possible.

thanks, lebell


Education chief rips PBS for gay character
Network won't distribute episode with animated 'Buster' visiting Vt.

The Associated Press
Updated: 7:53 a.m. ET Jan. 26, 2005

WASHINGTON - The nation’s new education secretary denounced PBS on Tuesday for spending public money on a cartoon with lesbian characters, saying many parents would not want children exposed to such lifestyles.



The not-yet-aired episode of “Postcards From Buster” shows the title character, an animated bunny named Buster, on a trip to Vermont — a state known for recognizing same-sex civil unions. The episode features two lesbian couples, although the focus is on farm life and maple sugaring.

A PBS spokesman said late Tuesday that the nonprofit network has decided not to distribute the episode, called “Sugartime!,” to its 349 stations. She said the Education Department’s objections were not a factor in that decision.

“Ultimately, our decision was based on the fact that we recognize this is a sensitive issue, and we wanted to make sure that parents had an opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own time,” said Lea Sloan, vice president of media relations at PBS.

Airing in Boston
However, the Boston public television station that produces the show, WGBH, does plan to make the “Sugartime!” episode available to other stations. WGBH also plans to air the episode on March 23, Sloan said.

PBS gets money for the “Postcards from Buster” series through the federal Ready-To-Learn program, one aimed at helping young children learn through television.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the “Sugartime!” episode does not fulfill the intent Congress had in mind for programming. By law, she said, any funded shows must give top attention to “research-based educational objectives, content and materials.”

“Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode,” Spellings wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of PBS.

“Congress’ and the Department’s purpose in funding this programming certainly was not to introduce this kind of subject matter to children, particularly through the powerful and intimate medium of television.”

She asked PBS to consider refunding the money it spent on the episode.

First act as secretary
With her letter, Spellings has made criticism of the publicly funded program’s depiction of the gay lifestyle one of her first acts as secretary. She began on Monday, replacing Rod Paige as President Bush’s education chief.

Spellings issued three requests to PBS.

She asked that her department’s seal or any statement linking the department to the show be removed. She asked PBS to notify its member stations of the nature of show so they could review it before airing it. And she asked for the refund “in the interest of avoiding embroiling the Ready-To-Learn program in a controversy that will only hurt” it.

In closing, she warned: “You can be assured that in the future the department will be more clear as to its expectations for any future programming that it funds.”


The department has awarded nearly $100 million to PBS through the program over the last five years in a contract that expires in September, said department spokesman Susan Aspey. That money went to the production of “Postcards From Buster” and another animated children’s show, and to promotion of those shows in local communities, she said.

The show about Buster also gets funding from other sources.

In the show, Buster carries a digital video camera and explores regions, activities and people of different backgrounds and religions.

On the episode in question, “The fact that there is a family structure that is objectionable to the Department of Education is not at all the focus of the show, nor is it addressed in the show,” said Sloan of PBS.

But she also said: “The department’s concerns align very closely with PBS’ concerns, and for that reason, it was decided that PBS will not be providing the episode.” Stations will receive a new episode, she said.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Last edited by Lebell; 01-26-2005 at 07:19 PM..
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Old 01-26-2005, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I guess PBS would fall under the title of "liberal media" as well now. Frankly, I'm not surprised. One written complaint from the Secretary of Education isn't likely to do much, fortunately. When the FCC comes knocking, however...
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Old 01-26-2005, 06:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Margaret Spellings is probably gay. "Often people who are inexplicabally against homosexuality have latent homosexual tendencies themselves." Just tell her that. That usually shuts up the average homosexuaphobe ("homophobe" actually means the fear of the number 1, I'll coin the term "homosexuaphobe").
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Actually, depending on how much control she has over the funds of the ready to learn program, her one complaint can mean a whole lot if it means she denies PBS any future funding.
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
©
 
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Quote:
She asked that her department’s seal or any statement linking the department to the show be removed. She asked PBS to notify its member stations of the nature of show so they could review it before airing it. And she asked for the refund “in the interest of avoiding embroiling the Ready-To-Learn program in a controversy that will only hurt” it.

In closing, she warned: “You can be assured that in the future the department will be more clear as to its expectations for any future programming that it funds.”
No big deal, she isn't trying to stop it from being shown, she just doesn't want her department funding it or being associated with it.
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
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I'm not clear... did the show come out and say, "Here is a lesbian couple, they like to make sugar from maple trees." or did it just show two ladies that work together making sugar from maple trees.

If it is the former, I can see why some might be upset. It is a little to in your face. However, I strongly suspect the latter and that is just fine with me.
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Old 01-27-2005, 07:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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wait wait... i saw Jon Moritsugu's Terminal USA on PBS one time... that has gore, urine drinking, pillow-euthenasia for old people, child molestation (or statuatory rape... i dont remember how old she was supposed to be), gay skinhead phone-sex, and drug abuse. The bad-guy's name was "Fucktoast" for christ's sake.
what?
 
Old 01-27-2005, 07:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
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This difference is one is aimed at children and the other was not... You know we must keep our children safe from knowing that there are people of the same sex who love each other, right?

/sarcasm off
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a 3 year old and I know even at 7 or 8 it would be hard to understand what a gay lifestyle is. Well lets put it simply as "two people of the same sex living together". That is it!! And for those religious and conservative pundits out there, I also agree it is just odd to live that way, but that is the way some people are. Children will not turn gay if they here about two women living together. What about shows on the regular networks show movies with gun violence and foul language that children could use to say one another. Those issues are so much worse than seeing two women live together for a few minutes, its not like a gay porno where two women start going at it. Some people just need to get over themselves.
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
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I just realized that my son and daugher must be completely messed up by the fact that my neighbours are two men who live together...

Geez, I'd better move before any more damage is done!

Better, yet maybe I should get the torches lit and chase those sodomites out of town!
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
I just realized that my son and daugher must be completely messed up by the fact that my neighbours are two men who live together...

Geez, I'd better move before any more damage is done!

Better, yet maybe I should get the torches lit and chase those sodomites out of town!
Hell yeah, brother! Do it for Dale! God needed a driver!
 
Old 01-27-2005, 09:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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ah yes, the lasting legacy of the "piss christ" and mappelthorpe brouhahas....the right brings with it a funny understanding of art in general....i expect to read soon that federal funding is being diverted to support for making reproductions of other images of jesus, paintings of seagulls flying over ocean waves, sad clowns on velvet and public sculpture designed around dollar signs.

anyway, i think that this is a move toward censorship exercized by the control over funding, by earmarking. i do not think that it in itself yet constitutes censorship.

the responses could go two ways: one would be to argue that if you do not like this earmarking, then stop taking federal grant money. which would suit the right just fine. (here you see a real difference between traditional and more contemporary types of conservatives: the latter were wedded to the idea that the economic and cultural elites were coextensive: the former see the two as unrelated. for the former, art was seen as an unproblematic general glorification of the existing order, a writing of it into History: for the latter, it is a problem in that artist just wont get with the glorification program, which they seem to see as consisting only of direct affirmation. capitalism yay. self-interest yay. critique boo. and it is not much more sophisticated than that.) i think that the right would be perfectly content if the whole idea of the public collapsed along with idea like public broadcasting.

the other would be to militate against this kind of move for what it is leading toward, under the assumption that state funding for the arts is a given, a requirement for the development of expressions that mirror back to the culture in general its state of being. which could be attacked as a simple expression of the self-interest of the artists. which in a way it is.

what i am interested in, however, is whether you get the same kind of arguments that worked around bush lying with reference to the iraq war (it was not a lie because he really believed it) being applied here (it is not censorship because the administration really believes it)--in which case you could see a more generalized mapping (it is not torture because the administration really believes it isnt---it is not repression because those doing the repression believe it is not) and with that out the window goes any possibility of opposing what these people do.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I was also listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and it turns out that there are
people who are saying that Spongebob Squarepants is the next threat to children,
thinking that the show promotes 'gayness.' Runs along the same lines and just thought
I'd drop it in, because it's even MORE absurd that this, which I have a feeling is done
slightly on purpose....
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Censorship is wrong, by the goverment. If this lady is a major funder than PBS can listen to ehr or not. THere isn't any censorship in that.

But, come on people, it's a show for kids. Kids don't know what sex is yet so why should they even have any idea what a gay person is. We should let kids be kids, and not have to worry about whos gay and who isn't, or even what it is. Kids are mean and they wouldn't be as understanding as an adult.

Now I'm not saying that gay people shouldn't be in kids shows, jsut don't show it, same goes for straight people. In a kids show everyone should be friends and thats it. As soon as we start teaching kids lables then they start to seperate themselves.
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnker85
Censorship is wrong, by the goverment. If this lady is a major funder than PBS can listen to ehr or not. THere isn't any censorship in that.

But, come on people, it's a show for kids. Kids don't know what sex is yet so why should they even have any idea what a gay person is. We should let kids be kids, and not have to worry about whos gay and who isn't, or even what it is. Kids are mean and they wouldn't be as understanding as an adult.

Now I'm not saying that gay people shouldn't be in kids shows, jsut don't show it, same goes for straight people. In a kids show everyone should be friends and thats it. As soon as we start teaching kids lables then they start to seperate themselves.
That is the problem, people have to use "labels" to refer to people and not who they really are. 2 regular people living together who just happen to be gay. Also, I very much doubt the show was trying to explain what homosexuality actually is in the sexual act that it is rather than just showing 2 women living their lives together.
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That's ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! Why should children be exposed to straight heterosexual couples, and can't be exposed to homosexual couples? Not that THAT was the main point of the cartoon, I'm sure. Jesus, people are SO stupid sometimes.
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Old 01-27-2005, 02:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Another fine choice to represent the American Public, and protect our rights......Thanks George, you never fail to dissapoint me.
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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oh vey...this isn't going to harm any kid...I spent much of my childhood nearbye fireisland...an area of Long Island known for it's gay beaches. We had a large gay/lesbian population and I learned "alternative lifestyles" in the 2nd grade. One of my friends had 2 fathers and I thought nothing of it at the time. When I moved to Washington DC area around 6th grade I was kinda suprised at the huge difference. I say expose them early to people's differences and we will have a more tolerant population.

btw: I'm a perfectly healthy straight guy...so well as you can see it did nothing bad to me...
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjon42
oh vey...this isn't going to harm any kid...I spent much of my childhood nearbye fireisland...an area of Long Island known for it's gay beaches. We had a large gay/lesbian population and I learned "alternative lifestyles" in the 2nd grade. One of my friends had 2 fathers and I thought nothing of it at the time. When I moved to Washington DC area around 6th grade I was kinda suprised at the huge difference. I say expose them early to people's differences and we will have a more tolerant population.

btw: I'm a perfectly healthy straight guy...so well as you can see it did nothing bad to me...
Thanks for responding, I think your a great example to show how homosexuality can not transform some kid into a homosexual from being exposed to the lifestyle around them. Give me a break, it is such a dumb argument and no solid facts that say exposing your children to gay parents or people that it harms or turns any of them gay. I can respect the parents right to just not want them to be exposed to it, but our society will not get any more tolerant if parents continue thinking this way.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
Thanks for responding, I think your a great example to show how homosexuality can not transform some kid into a homosexual from being exposed to the lifestyle around them. Give me a break, it is such a dumb argument and no solid facts that say exposing your children to gay parents or people that it harms or turns any of them gay. I can respect the parents right to just not want them to be exposed to it, but our society will not get any more tolerant if parents continue thinking this way.

People do not think it is a moral thing to do, and they don't want their kids being immoral. (by immoral i mean accept these practices not turning gay)

But, forcing one side of the argument and making those who voice out against gays and such eat their words os no better. When you respect those who don't agree with you, then the tolerence can begin. You can not force one side of the argument to accept your veiws if you are not reasy and able to accept theirs.

But to get back on topic, let kids be kids and not force them to understand adult topics. When a child is ready to know about more mature things then this could be included with the parents wishes (which the parents should be teaching not the schools)
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I heard a big ol interview about this on NPR, and their basic cop out was that the show did not fully deal with the subject of homosexuality. It just put it out there without any discussion. However, I highly doubt that an episode totally about a gay community would be accepted.

I've actually watched the show, and was very impressed. It introduces the many cultures that exist in America. The two episodes that I saw were about the chinese new year, and a muslim family. I think it's great to instill in small children an appreciation for culture. I hope this show is not dropped, or otherwise altered.
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
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With the neo-cons in charge, it probably will be. The right never ceases to amaze me.
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
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(thinking cap off)

It's obvious that most of the posters in this thread do do understand the devastating impact that Buster, Tinky Winky and Spongebob are having on our innocent children. Millions are being lured into alternative lifestyles. I weep for the future.

(thinking cap back on)
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