Political Correctness is Not New – Check Out This Bit From 1957
One of my humor heroes is a guy by the name of Stan Freberg. For me, Freberg was Mad Magazine in radio show form. Now, I never heard Freberg's radio show on the radio, but, from time to time, I would hear Some of Freberg's material from that show courtesy of a nut DJ I grew up listening to by the name of Gordon Baxter.
Back in 1957, Freberg was having quite a time with the censors. What was censored back then is completely different from today's idea of censorship. Let me point out that the censorship was done by the networks themselves. At that time in broadcasting, the networks pretty much policed themselves when it came to touchy subjects. Granted, they went overboard and, after all, isn't that what political correctness is.
I mean, it's all fine and great to be understanding, but the whole PC thing has been carried so far that it has become a form of censorship. Censorship in this country today is not concerned with bad language or adult material. Today's censorship, as applied by the networks and certain segments of society are making sure that no one is excluded and no one gets their feelings hurt. With those ground rules, true satire doesn't stand a chance.
So, here's a bit from 1957 in which Stan Freberg plays a singer who is about to sing "Old Man River", when he is approached by the network censor and told that, each times he says something that is not right, he will ring a bell. Each time the bell rings, Freberg has to stop singing and be told by the censor what was wrong with what he just said.
It's a great bit and, considering that it was almost 60 years ago that Freberg wrote this biting bit of satire, I'd say he was pretty much ahead of his time.