When I first heard that Fox News was taking steps to insure that there would be no boobs on their network, I was excited at the possibility that Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Doocy, etc., would soon be fired. To my disappointment, I later learned what the real story was that “Fox News Blurs the Boobs on a Picasso Painting.”
It turns out that it was the Fox News affiliate station in New York that so virtuously protected viewers from the sinful display of geometric breasts. But that doesn’t let Fox News off the hook entirely because the same man, Roger Ailes, runs both the cable news channel and the affiliate group. To its credit, the morning show on Fox5NY did their own bit of ridiculing the night crew that went too heavy on the blurring.
This is not the first time that overzealous conservatives took it upon themselves to sanitize the smutty, or otherwise inappropriate and dirty world, from decent Americans. Back in 2011 News Corpse documented a series of occurrences wherein free expression was not permitted by right-wingers:
A few years ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell was scheduled to give a speech at the United Nations to make the case by the Bush administration for going to war against Iraq. Prior to the speech he had aides cover up a tapestry depicting Picasso’s painting, Guernica. Powell was not going to make an argument for war in front of such a powerful and iconic anti-war statement.
Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, held press conferences in the Justice Department in a hall where the statue “Spirit of Justice” had stood for decades. In 2002 he ordered that the statue, a female representation of justice with one bare breast exposed, be covered by a drape. It’s not clear whether he was worried more about this being embarrassing or arousing.
Earlier this year, Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, had a mural removed from the Maine Department of Labor. The mural depicted scenes of Maine’s working citizens and the history of labor in the state. Obviously it has no business taking up space in the Labor Department.
And just this week, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin removed a painting from the governor’s residence. The painting was of children from diverse backgrounds and was meant to remind the residents of that home, which belongs to the people of Wisconsin, of the impact their work has real families. Now Walker won’t have to be concerned with that unless he runs into some in person, in which case he’ll have much more to be concerned about.
As you can see, this is a recurring theme among the sanctimonious wingnuts who believe that their morality trumps yours. And while conservatives went out of their way to defend the free speech rights of hate mongering Islamophobes they aren’t the least bit hesitant to deny those rights to rap artists, the Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore, or even Picasso.
All things considered, I would prefer that boobs like Hannity were subject to censorship rather than those in the great paintings of history. But sadly, some boobs are more equal than others.