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Should Television Shows Be Censored?
January 7, 1968

The time has come to quit_______ing around and talk about censorship. We of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour have had our share of censorship problems, but we are not against censorship because we realize there is always the danger of something being said.

Many people feel that censorship is a violation of Freedom of Speech...Bull feathers...Censorship is NOT unconstitutional. Censors have the right to censor what you hear. The Bill of Rights says nothing about Freedom of Hearing. This, of course, takes alot of the fun out of the Freedom of Speech. Ha, ha, ha...Without censorship of television, how else can you, the American public, have the protection you want from vulgar scenes, over-exposed bodies and all the other sights you like to see...There is nothing in the Bill of Rights about Freedom of Seeing. You can look for it, but if you see it, you'd better not show it to anybody.

Therefore, censorship does not interfere with the constitutional right of every American to sit alone in the dark, in the nude and cuss...the censors on our show are not unreasonable...I know these men...They like a good joke and they object to questionable material only if the audience laughs at it, which is...I'm sure you would agree...very reasonable. Without the censors we would all be at the mercy of the warped minds of the television industry and Deity only knows what you would see, probably some of the most foul, nasty, disgusting, vulgar, funniest, greatest stuff in the world.

But let's face it; there have to be some realistic taboos...especially with political comment. After all, the leaders of our country were not elected to be tittered at. The censors have to draw the line somewhere. For instance, we are allowed to say Ronald Reagan is a lousy actor...but we're not allowed to say he's a lousy governor...which is ridiculous...we know he's a good actor...And you can't say ANYTHING bad about President Johnston...because you shouldn't insult the President...but if you compliment him...who will believe it?...

So in conclusion, you can see that there is a place for censors and we only wish that we could tell you where it is.

    Thank you,

    Patrick L. Paulsen, V.P.