Brent Bozell
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Think about this corporate mindset. NBC is the network that hired a squad of lawyers to argue that dropping the F-bomb on the Golden Globe Awards isn't indecent for children, but invoking God is wholly unacceptable. Or, as one e-mailing friend marveled: "So, saying 'F--- you' is protected First Amendment speech on NBC but not 'God bless you.'"

The cartoon's creator, Phil Vischer, posted on his personal Web log the news of NBC's increasing creative stranglehold. "At first we were told everything was 'OK' except the Bible verse at the end. Frankly, that news (never) really surprised me, because, heck, we're talking about NBC here. (Would they allow) God on Saturday morning? It didn't seem likely."

But it grew worse than that edict, Vischer reported: "Since we've started actually producing the episodes, though, NBC has gotten a little more restrictive." How so? He said, "We're having to do a little more editing." How much? So much so that Vischer implied that the God talk is landing on the cutting-room floor. Now, he's merely hoping that people will "maybe wander into Wal-Mart and buy a video with all the God still in."

This is one of those moments where you understand that networks like NBC are only talking an empty talk and walking an empty walk when it comes to the First Amendment, and "creative integrity," and so on. They have told parents concerned about their smutty programs like "Will and Grace" that if they're offended, they have a remote control as an option. The networks have spent millions insisting that we have a V-chip in our TV sets. Change the channel. Block it out.

But when it comes to religious programming -- programming that doesn't even mention Jesus Christ -- just watch the hypocrisy. Instead of telling viewers to just change the channel if they don't like it, or put in a V-chip for Bible verses, they demand to producers that all that outdated old-time religion has to be shredded before broadcast.

It's truly sad that this anti-religious hypocrisy would emerge. Today, no one in network TV fears what the children are watching -- unless it makes them think about God.

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Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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