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Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Featured, Media, Politics | 15 comments

GOP Morphing into Catholic Church Index of Forbidden Books and Films?

images-1WHen we were kids in Catholic school, there was [and still is] The Index. Sounds like a thriller/suspense novel. But really it was a long list penned by old celibate bachelors in Rome who said these books, these films, were ‘occasions of sin’ and ‘a threat to The Faith.’

[I read the list on The Index many times and was always intrigued by the name of a film called I am A Camera, Yellow, such a poetic title but I never saw the film, for our town of 600 had only a drive in movie theatre, featuring The Red Shoes and Man in the Iron Mask, but no art films, no ‘art house.’]

Now, the Republican Party threatened Monday to pull its 2016 Republican primary debates from CNN and NBC if those two networks don’t immediately drop plans for broadcasting a miniseries and another documentary [rumored] on Hillary Clinton. There has been no declaration by Miss Clinton that she intends to run for the Presidency of the USA. But, you know, um, just ‘seeing’ things, you know, and ‘hearing things’ could be an occasion of sin and a potential threat to The Faith.

All is in an uproar of skirts and smurfs flying about threatening this and that. Again.

Once it used to be that conformity was confirmed by wearing little American flag lapel pins, regimental neckties, and other dress-alike costumes. [My grandmother used to say a lot of people’s tailors were unimaginative].

But, if the GOP is going to inaugurate censorship du jour, maybe there are some used Mitres [headdress worn by Bishops, that have long ‘lappets’ that hang down, ‘forgive her Father for she has sinned’… my grandmother said the ‘lappets’ looked like Goofy the cartoon dog’s long ears] …

and Birettas, little purple hats [my grandmother said they were alright except those who wore them ruined their dignity by putting big fuzzy floppy pom poms atop that trembled when the one wearing them, simply walked across the parking lot]…

and a few cast off Cassocks and some Fascias, big purple fringed sashes long enough to gird any belly,[which my grandmother called the Bishops’ trusses,] and of course the Zucchettos, little skull caps in colors, red, purple, white, according to the ranks the prelate men assigned one another [my grandmother ever said those little caps were really beanies from which the propellers had been removed. As mentioned, Father forgive her for she knows not what she says. Mostly, sort of, perhaps.]

All satire aside, I think those who would like to see networks air whatever they like, will likely target all the more the advertisers of certain right wing pundits to push back against this latest GOP ‘do as we say, or else’ very old fashioned Roman -esque ultimatum.

I was on a panel with Nat Hentoff [and Judge Bork at the other end of the spectrum] long ago. I loved the name of Nat’s book just published back then regarding BIG interests and powers, corporate and political attempting to put one another out of business by falsehoods vs truths: Free Speech for Thee but Not for Me.

There’s more to say, but what Mr. Hentoff entitled his book, given political whack-a-mole issuing at present from GOP re Hillary Clinton films on CNN and network television, is I think, a good start on how to understand this recent kerfluffle.

It’s hard not to notice that the Church’s men who attempted for eons to silence books and films, to keep them from Catholic eyes and ears, those ‘deciders’ called themselves ‘princes’ and affected the clothing style of kings… as though they themselves were kings… and assumed that whatever they condemned or commanded by fiat, would be bowed to, followed by all.

Not true then. Not likely true now.

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  • jdledell

    Dr e – This brought back a lot of memories. I grew up around a lot of Catholics and remember the list of forbidden books. Perhaps because I was Jewish, I had access to the libraries of friends and family full of forbidden books. I remember lifting a copy of Peyton Place out of the bookcase of my aunt. Suddenly, I was the most popular kid in school and that copy of Peyton place got so dogeared (all the good pages had grease smears, peanut butter smears etc) that I never dared put it back where it belonged.

    I reveled in my new found popularity and memorized the forbidden list and soon was scouring the bookcases of every place my family would visit. I was the go to guy for the forbidden and I sure had lots of customers.

  • adelinesdad

    I think the GOP sort-of has a point. Doing these extended, high profile documentaries on someone who is widely considered the most likely presidential candidate does seem excessive and raises questions of bias.

    On the other hand, if the networks wanted to give equal time to a Republican of similar stature, who would they choose? That’s the problem. The Republicans have pushed out anyone who might have had comparable statesman/woman credentials. That’s what will spell their defeat in 2016. I think the GOP should spend less time whining about media bias (even if it is arguable justified in this case) and more time working on that more fundamental problem.

  • ShannonLeee

    Yikes!! It is a good thing that the History Channel doesn’t broadcast Republican debates. CNN and NBC should call their bluff. Reps need media exposure on real channels. Their candidates are unknown, untested, and unattractive. I dont think 10 debates on Fox News is going to do much for them.

  • dduck

    OK, the NBC one will be a puff piece (also known as a campaign movie) and I hope CNN, more honest of the two networks, will include the various, ahem, episodes that lead to the question of HC’s veracity, such as her missing billing records, missing bullets in a peaceful arrival, FBI files at the WH, Whitewater, and various other hiccups.
    Is it fair, hell no, but so is all the money pumped into these campaigns.
    Folks, you are being shafted by BOTH sides, take off your partisan glasses.

  • justcowboyway
  • DaGoat

    In 2007 some Democrats dropped out of the debates on Fox due to Fox’s obvious bias, so this isn’t without precedent. NBC has an obvious bias within their MSNBC news division but could make the case they’re producing the shows through their entertainment division. CNN is less biased but since there really is no separate entertainment division at CNN it does raise questions of bias.

    If NBC and CNN want to be taken seriously as non-partisan organizations it’s probably better to wait to produce these kind of shows until the subjects are retired or deceased.

  • dduck

    Yep.

  • yoopermoose

    I’m sure if the GOP thought the film would be like “2016: Obama’s America” they would be all over it, promoting it on fox and sending everyone a free copy. To me, the GOP are becoming the party of crybabies and whiners.

  • cjjack

    To me, the GOP are becoming the party of crybabies and whiners.

    Becoming?

    If memory serves, there was a dust-up not too long ago over another film about Hillary Clinton. There was no doubt at the time that she was running for President, and the film in question was a hit piece to put it mildly. The outfit behind the movie wanted to run it – not a few years in advance of an election – but within a month of the Democratic primaries.

    I think we all know what happened from there.

    As a result, we get the spectacle of candidates on stage at debates who only stand there because of the pet billionaire financing their Super PAC (hey Newt, how’s that colony on the Moon going?), and the airwaves in swing states running more attack ads than they run actual programs.

    The political landscape as seen in the media has changed, and the architects of that change are all on the right. They demanded that unabashed propaganda be free to run whenever and wherever, and took that fight all the way to the highest court in the land.

    And now they have the nerve to complain that years in advance of an election, networks which they’ve long derided as part of the “left wing liberal media” might air a show about someone who might run in that election?

    Cry me a river.

    This is the way you wanted it, guys. You wanted a movie about Hillary to tip the scales in an election. Now you may have one. Possibly two. If you want to throw a tantrum and not go on those networks, you can. You’ve got your own pet network and…hey…you’ve already got a Hillary movie of your own in the can.

    Air that movie on Fox during the debates you’ll be skipping, and we’ll call it even.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    Jdledell, thanks for that poignant and funny story from your life. I can just see you going about being so ‘literary.’ lol. It was a time of such protective of the young … back then, that even a word could be a point of extreme ‘rising of the young cranes’ as my father called it. lol.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    I think AD, you’re right, any film pro or con about anyone who might run for BIG office holding will engage some, and perhaps to advantage… maybe. I’d be betting though that attempting to coerce a media group to not run whatever, unless it is clear slander/libel of untruths, is not the most ethical way to appear to ‘the rest of the public.’

    Like you, I would love to have ‘equal time’ in same proportions for each. But, as I wrote here at TMV a couple days ago, in a comment, the time of ‘equal time’ was battered and taken down by two presidents, and is no more the law of the land on the airwaves. Since then we have run the ship of the airwaves, low low tilted to the right on the waterline. For no equal time is any longer required.

    Too, it may be, that emphasis on tv hardware networks and the people’s radio airwaves may be going the way of the buggy whip. We’ll see. With Bezos acquisition of WaPo, it may be a new day for not the papers, radio and tv, but for OTHER ways of delivering that are sharp and accessible and who knows, perhaps interactive without the harsh pre-vetting of audience questions that goes on before a ‘debate’ of candidates

  • Rambie

    Cjjack, I think I love you. 🙂 You took the words out of my mouth.

    Plus does no one remember that both CNN and NBC (among others) ran documentaries on both Obama & Romney in 2012? Both were neutral to both candidates when they were –you know– actually the candidates and not just “maybe candidates”.

  • sheknows

    LOL..funny how ABC is not a problem for the Reps. Perhaps that is because ABC is so flagrantly biased it almost defies mentioning.
    I guess the Reps will have to find some more wealthy financiers to purchase NBC and CNN so they can control what they show and what they give coverage to.

  • dduck

    Might I point out that a pre-candidate for what some say is the second biggest job in the country was the front page subject and was regaled in a major newspaper’s prestigious, and very influential, Sunday magazine. Result, top of the polls when he became a candidate (of course having a former president’s wife in his corner helped).
    Point is is he got an unfair media push. Where is he now? Shitsville.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Jdledell thanks for the laugh… wúrldlee, for sure…. in those days reading a book like Peyton Place or Valley of the Dolls was considered near direct experience….

    Thanks Dr. E…More signs of the times, this post, like the one yesterday on WaPo remind me of the Vedic texts where the four Yugas are talked about…Kali Yuga is the fourth and the Vedic scholars say we are in it now…

    Thousands of years ago the Rishis (sages) wrote a description for each Yuga. For the Kali Yuga they said there would be a store in every home where one could buy and sell anything they wanted… (Amazon!) Who would of thought in Jdledell’s Peyton Place days that it would be possible for all the good Catholic children to click a button for instant access to PP…

    I read this post; and once again remember the Kali Yuga is described as a time of “strife”, “discord”, “quarrel” or “contention”

    The Kali Yuga is said to last, 432,000 years…It is the shortest of the Yugas….

    It may take awhile but ‘this too shall pass.’

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