CBS Passes on "Reagans" Biography

Kitty Kelly has sold it to CBS. No, just kidding. A tremendous night. It’s the beginning of a second media century, Joe, where it’s much more of a people-driven media. And I say that not lightly. It was the Internet, it was talk radio, it was cable that put pressure on CBS, and heretofore, there’s never been this kind of pressure applied to one of the big titans, one of the big three. And the pressure went all the way to the top of a super company called Viacom, and the chairman earlier today is my information said, “Listen, let’s just get it on cable. Let’s do it on Showtime. Let’s show it uncut. Everybody will watch.” So the word is that CBS will pass on it. It will not air on free television, but the full glory of “The Reagans” will air on Showtime. —CBS Passes on “Reagans” Biography (Drudge Report)

Pressure from the blogosphere and talk radio induced CBS to pass on “The Reagans,” which has been described by CBS officials as too biased against Reagan to be fixed through editing. Is this censorship? Note that CBS had already edited the show considerably, to the point that there would have been dead air time because of the number of scenes that had been cut. By admitting the show was biased, not the romantic love story that had been pitched and purchased for airing, CBS gave up on it, but Showtime will air the whole thing uncut. Without the intense pressure from the blogosphere and talk radio, the editied version might have been shown, and nobody would have ever seen the full version (until the “director’s cut” DVD came out, that is).

One thought on “CBS Passes on "Reagans" Biography

  1. While I’m not sure why anyone would particularly care about Barbara Streisand’s opinion on this issue, on her website the singer and actress tries to have it both ways. In her Nov. 4 post, “A Sad Day for Artistic Freedom,” — she points out that “this is NOT a documentary – it’s a television drama,” but later says that “an attempt to stop information from getting out there before the public has a chance to see it at all [is] exactly what is going on in this case.” So, is this movie information, or is it art? Once again, the pressure from the right has ensured that the movie will be shown in its entirety, rather than heavily edited (which was CBS’s initial plan).

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