Two news items interestingly connect today: First, the airing of Ken Burns’ new documentary, “The War,” is causing broadcasters some anxiety, because it contains four fleeting expletives. From SFGate.com:
Many public broadcasters aren’t sure whether the FCC will fine public television stations for airing ‘The War,’ and the FCC hasn’t revealed its position. That uncertainty is placing the broadcasters in a difficult position. They must either show a documentary in a form other than the artist created, or risk getting hit with large fines for broadcasting naughty words.
And the notion that unlicensed, portable uses of the white spaces might be possible is causing broadcasters some anxiety, because they’re absolutely convinced that these uses will interfere with their programming. From Broadcasting & Cable:
‘[Even if] both the Phillips and Microsoft devices work as advertised, they will still cause interference to over-the air TV reception,’ says David Donovan, who heads the Association for Maximum Service Television.
These poor broadcasters. They’re stuck with an uncertain regulator. They crave protection, they cherish their special status, but they can’t tell what’s going to happen next – and it causes an awful lot of anxiety for them. It’s a schizophrenic existence, being a broadcaster. Your entire existence is predicated on the favors granted you by government.
Surely the broadcasters should cut themselves loose, sell off their airwaves, and retreat to the countryside. Calmer all around.