Friday, August 12, 2005

Breasts and getting high banned in Kentucky

Garrison Keillor is apparently too racy for radio listeners in Kentucky. Station WUKY has decided to stop airing Keillor's Writer's Almanac segments because they contain what the management considers "offensive language":

The warnings, issued by the program’s production company, came about Curse of the Cat Woman by Edward Field, which contained violent themes and the word “breast”; Thinking About the Past by Donald Justice, which also used the word “breast”; and Reunion by Amber Coverdale, which contained the phrase “get high.” The poems were scheduled for broadcast between July 23 and Aug. 12.

WUKY never heard complaints about The Writer’s Almanac because the station always edited potentially offensive language, [station manager Tom] Godell said. Prairie Home Productions and American Public Media, the segment’s producer and distributor, do not edit or select the content.

“It’s not a terrible burden to edit, but my concern is that something slips through,” Godell said. “We have certain standards of decency, and I expect our national producers to do the same thing.”

How lame is this? The people running this station may be laughably prudish, but it looks like he real reason they're cancelling Keillor is because they're too lazy to keep editing the segments.

You can see why the preposterous decision to edit would lead to problems. How would you edit these poems from PG down to G? One alternative is to audibly bleep out the word "breast" - thus evoking raunchier, or just plain weird, imagery with various alternative body parts:

The BLEEP of Mary Something, freed from a white swimsuit...

Or would they do what's now standard practice for movies airing on basic cable - have someone who sounds like Garrison Keillor dub in a less offensive word that sort of sounds like the original?

The brassiere/brulee/bratwurst of Mary Something, freed from a white swimsuit...