Friday, January 13, 2006


It's not unusual for groups such as the Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association to get it's members riled to the point of bombarding network affiliates and sponsors with e-mails and telephone calls in protest of a programme they feel is "indecent" or "inmoral". Often, these urgings come without having viewed one second of the allegedly offensive show, relying only on press reports.

In the case of one NBC show, the AFA and it's friends may have won the fight.

The network had been heavily promoting it's new hour long comedy The Book of Daniel, which premiered in a two hour episode last week. The show centers around an Episcopalian priest named Daniel and his family, all of whom have their own quirks. Daniel is battling an addiction to painkillers, his wife is an alcoholic, his son is a homosexual, his adopted son is a skirtchaser, his teenage daughter was busted for selling weed, and his brother has embezzled church money.

As you might expect, the AFA and friends were unhappy at what they feel is a show that demeans Christianity, and the pressure began before last week's premiere aired. Two affiliates in Little Rock, Arkansas and Terre Haute, Indiana decided not to air the programme. They are both owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, based in Irving, Texas. Since then, stations in Tupelo/Columbus and Meridian, Mississippi have announced they would follow suit tonight, with several others reportedly considering a similar move.

While the AFA and it's friends have the right to express their concerns, they should at least watch the programme before criticizing it.

Personally, I tried to watch some of the show's premiere last week, and tuned out after a few minutes. I didn't have a problem with the content; IMHO it just wasn't that funny.


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