Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CBS News Weighs In On 'Toon Revisions

Excuse me for again beating on this horse, but this just in: CBS News agrees with the sane. Thinks it's a bad idea to scrub old cartoons of offending images... They're A Page Right Out Of History -- Can't We Leave Them There? Times change and so do social mores, but we shouldn’t run around trying to change the past to fit the present.... The Flintstones, along with so many other icons of their era, once pitched Winston cigarettes in televised ads before they were banned in 1961. Yes, that’s Fred and Barney taking a Winston break and hawking the tag line – “a Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should.” But it was a part of life in America at the time, a reflection of how we thought and what we knew. Nobody's forcing anyone to run these shows today. It calls to mind the recent mini-furor caused when a publishing company digitally altered the picture of Clement Hurd, author of the children’s classic book, “Goodnight Moon,” removing the cigarette that was held in his hand for decades of sales. I'll go further. I think it's a bad idea to rewrite ANY history into non-existent myth. John Wayne smoked four to five pack a day; PC Nannies shouldn't air-brush the cigarettes from the Duke's nicontine-stained fingers. And Thom Jefferson fathered a half-dozen children with his slave (and sister-in-law) Sally Hemmings. Deal with it. Movie studios have non-P.C. movies and cartoons in their pasts, lots of them. Let's not sanitize Tom and Jerry ...or colorize "Casablanca"...or otherwise "protect the children" from various horrors they can no doubt handle. I don't need the government or a corporation shielding my children from the harsh realities of our history. Anybody does any shielding, it'll be me and my wife. As far as I'm concerned, the kids can go on watching "South Park" as long as they like. They'll probably survive the trauma.


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