City Paper is not for tourists
Tonight’s second installment of the PBS series America at a Crossroads, produced by WETA, features “Operation Homecoming” at 10 p.m., the best film in the bunch according to, well, me, since I watched most of them in galleys. But we here in D.C. get an extra-special version: the one without bleeps.
The film is based on soldiers’ writings from Iraq, some of them truly heartbreaking, some angry, some kind of hilarious. And guess what? Some guys in the middle of a firefight in Baghdad use words a touch stronger than, say, Anderson Cooper going 360 on the war. The L.A. Times broke news that WETA had both naughty and nice versions available to stations, only most stations didn’t really know they could take a chance.
WETA, after many meetings, did take the chance, followed by WNET in New York, WGBH in Boston, WMHT in Albany, KQED in San Francisco, and WEDU in Tampa. QED is taking the biggest risk, airing it an hour before the FCC’s 10 p.m. “safe” zone established for “shit” and middle fingers at Saddam, just two of the treats available tonight to WETA watchers.