I usually report the worst of the network suits. But I’m not adding my liberal voice to the growing chorus of conspiracy theorists who believe that Fox “censored” Sally Field’s Emmy antiwar statements because of its political content. (See video of her full statement here vs what actually ran on TV here.) The network bleeped curse words three times during acceptance speeches last night: when Field used “goddamn” and when Katherine Heigl mouthed, “Oh shit”, and when Ray Romano joked about his former Everybody Loves Raymond TV wife Patricia Heaton “screwing” Kelsey Grammar on their new show, Back to You. According to Fox: “Some language during the live broadcast may have been considered inappropriate by some viewers. As a result, Fox’s broadcast standards executives determined it appropriate to drop sound during those portions of the show.” A network rep insisted to reporters that Fox did not censor Field’s comments for their political content, noting she did talk about the war before she was cut off. I actually think he’s right. To its credit, Fox stayed on Field during almost all of her anti-war statements — when she was somewhat calm during the first part of her speech, then even after the applause when she looked out of control. The network tuned her out only after she said “goddamn” when she was a few words from finishing. This wasn’t even a close call.
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