An Open Letter to **AWKWARD JUMP CUT** More4

Hello there, More4. Long time viewers, first time authors-of-an-open-letter-to-you.

So, we’re sitting back and finally catching up on the last few weeks of Daily Show goodness, as broadcast on More4. One of these episodes was from the 28th of April, which saw an interview with Cliff May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Now, quite often, More4 will need to make subtle edits to the show (which goes out at 11pm in the US, but at 8.30pm in the UK), such as snipping Jon Stewart’s outro to any commercial break that we don’t have, or masking the already-censored word “F***” so that' it’s just a blurry blob. To reiterate, Mr More4, those are Comedy Central’s asterisks there, we have no qualms about using the word ‘fuck’.

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Occasionally, especially daft edits are made. For example, when Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos guested on the show to plug his films revamped e-book reader, the on-screen caption for More4 viewers was changed to “Jeff Bezos, Amazon.[blurry blob]”. In addition, the pattern of Amazon logos on the huge screen at the back of the set were blurred out. We know why this was done, Ofcom has stringent rules on product placement outside of commercial breaks and sponsor bumps, meaning things like this have to be limited. But all that was slightly undone when the interview itself mentioned Amazon and Amazon.com several times, not to mention that the entire reason well-known people allow themselves to be interviewed in such programmes is to sell their most recent product. And that applies to each and every single chat show since about 1981.

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Meanwhile, huge amounts of in-programme advertising go on during most sporting events, with logos splattered over everything larger than an atom, whether it drives around a track, kicks a ball or is made of wood. Of course, there’s probably a footnote somewhere on Ofcom’s website to allow all that (jiggered if we can find it though, their search function doesn’t seem to like looking for broadcasting regulations whenever we go there). We’re guessing you’ve got a paper copy of it, More4. The relevant piece of legislation has probably been chiselled numerous times into the granite that makes up the walls of your edit suite.

Forgive us, we’ll meander back to the actual point, to Cliff May and Jon Stewart’s interview of him. We’ve transcribed the full introduction to the interview, as seen on Comedy Central. We’ve also transcribed the version that you saw fit to broadcast.

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COMEDY CENTRAL EDIT:

Jon Stewart, addressing the home audience: "[I've] just interviewed Cliff May. It was, er, supposed to be a six minute interview, erm, about torture, and it went, er, eight thousand."

THE STUDIO AUDIENCE LAUGHS POLITELY.

Jon Stewart: "So, all we could give you is a little taste of it, the rest of it is on the website. Er, very spirited discussion, very enjoyable, er... here it is."

CUT TO INTERVIEW.

MORE4 EDIT:

Jon Stewart, adressing the home audience: "[I've] just interviewed Cliff May. It was, er, supposed to be a six minute interview, erm, about torture, and it went, er, eight thousand."

THE STUDIO AUDIENCE LAUGHS POLITELY.

Jon Stewart: "So, all we could give you is a little taste of it"

MASSIVE JARRING CUT INTERRUPTING STEWART BEFORE HE CAN PROPERLY PRONOUNCE THE 'T' IN 'IT'

Jon Stewart: "very spirited discussion, very enjoyable, er... here it is."

CUT TO INTERVIEW.

So, More4, what the jiggery fuck was that about, hey? Foreign broadcasters mentioning websites too outrageous for you, especially when they aren’t polite enough to read out the URL? Do you think the More4 audience, the very same audience you’re asking to take on Tony Robinson in a pub quiz, would be baffled at the concept of a website that isn’t Channel4.com? Were you hoping that it might lure viewers away from your own video-on-demand catch-up service 4OD, which of course is located online at http://www[MASSIVEJARRINGJUMPCUT] nd isn’t as popular as iPlayer? Really, stop doing stuff like this, it demeans the viewer, and cheapens your channel.

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Yours belatedly,
BrokenTV (Mrs).

PS. We’ll forgive you if you buy up the rights to The Colbert Report now that FX don’t want it any more.

As for everyone else, here’s the video of the unexpurgated interview More4 seemingly don’t want you to see.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

[Footnote: there’s an episode of The Larry Sanders Show where the blurry logo tactic was used on Larry’s sweatshirt on non-terrestrial broadcasts (erm, not in-show, in the real-life broadcasts). When we watched the episode, this distracted us so much, we couldn’t concentrate on the dialogue until we’d identified which logo was being censored. After a few seconds work – it wasn’t very well hidden – we’d deciphered the branding as being a Nike swoosh. We must have watched the episode in question over ten years ago (it was the first time the show was repeated on Paramount), and yet we still remember the very thing that was trying to be hid from view. We can’t remember anything about corporate logos from that period that weren’t censored. This suggests a couple of things. Firstly, we’re a bit tragic. Secondly, the whole practice of doing this is stupid.]

Right, we're off out to get unduly angry about misplaced apostrophes on signs at car boot sales.

1 comment:

Applemask said...

It is impossible to get too angry at Grocer's Apostrophes.