RI station pulls CSI - Discuss?

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full text from the link: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/tv/wire/sns-ap-tv-nightclub-fire-csi,0,4798382.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dtv%2Dheadlines

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Providence-area CBS affiliate won't air an episode of "CSI: Miami" that deals with a nightclub fire out of respect for the victims and survivors of the West Warwick blaze that killed 99 people.

The episode, scheduled to air Monday, focuses on the criminal investigation of a fire at a Miami nightclub that was caused by pyrotechnics.

Officials believe a band's pyrotechnic display sparked the Feb. 20 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick. Flames quickly spread through the one-story wooden building, and 99 people died as they scrambled for the exits. Nearly 200 other people were injured.

"The episode contains some striking similarities to the tragic fire at The Station nightclub," WPRI-TV said in a statement Thursday. "Out of respect for the victims, their families and the Rhode Island community, WPRI-TV will not air the episode."

Instead, the station will air excerpts of a nightclub fire benefit concert that took place April 22 in Providence. Donation information will be included in the show for viewers who want to contribute money to fire victims.

"They obviously needed to fill the space and they wanted to give an opportunity to raise money for the victims," said Amy Quinn, a WPRI spokeswoman.

Chris Ender, senior vice president of communications for CBS, said local affiliates rarely pull episodes of network programming, but it's not unprecedented.

"We respect the right of the station to determine what is appropriate to broadcast in its local area," said Ender. "Obviously, this event had some parallels to a very terrible tragedy."

Ender said the idea for the upcoming episode already was in the works before the deadly fire in Rhode Island.

CBS said it was unaware of other affiliates that wouldn't air the episode.

West Warwick Town Manager Wolfgang Bauer said pulling the show was a wise decision because visions of the fire are still fresh in people's minds.

A WPRI photographer was at The Station the night of the fire, gathering bar scene footage for a story about safety in public places.

The reporter was Jeffrey Derderian, co-owner of The Station. WPRI officials say Derderian's club was not to be a focus of the story, but journalism experts have said the arrangement violated conflict of interest standards.

Derderian is still employed and paid by WPRI, but hasn't returned to work. Photographer Brian Butler is on the job.

Quinn said the decision to pull the "CSI: Miami" episode had nothing to do with Derderian, who has been named in civil lawsuits connected to the fire. A criminal investigation into the blaze is also pending.

<fuzzy mic>

People should decide what they will and will not watch. Not tv station managers. They could warn people of the content of the show. I do not think local stations should censor network programming. That gives one very small person a great deal of power. Next thing you know that one person will censor network programming based on their own religious beliefs and/or prejudice. Oh wait...


That happens every week in Salt Lake City! The NBC affiliate (owned by the Mormon church) refuses to air Saturday Night Live because of its occasional sexual skits and other bad things that I guess Mormon people don't like.

Pretty stupid. There's worse stuff out there.


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to play devil's advocate... if they air the episode the RI defendant's lawyers would have a field day saying they'd never get a fair trial because of it. why give them ammo.


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I will remain named on this topic. This is one example of censorship. Since when was it a stations job to tell me what I can and cannot watch? What is next...because there was a war and US solders dyed, movie stores are going to pull Blackhawk Down off the shelves? What about the club fire. It was vary vary unfortunate that something like this happened. I feel that news has more of a chance of throwing the courts off then CSI. Not only is it censorship, it is a chip off the shoulder of freedom of speech. It is a damn show! Wrong move by the station.


<Devil’s advocate>

Well, it was clearly a business decision. Obviously WPRI didn't want to be seen profiting from a program so quickly after The Station fire. It's really no different than when many movie studios pulled extremely violent or terrorist related films shortly after 9/11.

I don't think it's censorship. It was the decision of a private business to control their product. If the government had told them not to air it, then it would be a different issue entirely.


Well-known member
oh it was WPRI that pulled CSI? wow, hm. Now that becomes a toughie. I could lean either way, since they were the ones with the actual club footage. Ideally it shouldn't matter. However if i was an advertiser, I might flinch and pull an ad for that episode.


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Stations pull episodes of shows a lot. Think back to the first days of NYPD Blue and how many ABC affils. pulled it because of the language and seeing a man's bare ass. I'm sure they thought that if enough of them "took a stand on behalf of their viewers" it would kill NYPD Blue. Yeah, that worked.

As far as pulling the episode of CSI, I don't really have a problem with it. I'm sure most who still have a hard time dealing with what happened in real life would avoid watching the episode anyhow, but why chance it? I'm nowhere near there and when I saw a promo for the episode the first thing I thought of 2 seconds into it was the RI fire.

Besides, I'm sure by the time it comes up in the rerun rotation at the end of the summer people will be able to watch it then. Time has a way of helping people move on.
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