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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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violation of this code, so that the judgment was no longer to be made by the licensee, but to be delegated to a bureaucracy over at the National Association of Broadcasters. I said I wouldn't submit to it; either I was the licensee and I could call the shots as I saw them (not me personally, but the company could), but I wasn't going to run down the street with a can full of film and get some bureaucrat to look at it. He said: “Why not?” I said, “Well, for one thing, I can see you saying someday, ‘I want to see who passed judgment on this particular film.’”

Now, the thing that brought this about was a program that we carried. We had a film on late one night, at 1:00 -- These were the days when we did “The Late Show” in movies, long before cable, and we came on -- We ran films all night long. Not great films, but if you were in a bar and grill someplace, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and you didn't have anything else to do, it was entertaining. Our standards weren't quite as tough at 3:00 in the morning as they were at 9:00 in prime time. We had put on a film (I've forgotten the title, I never saw it, or I hadn't seen it at the time), and a group of sisters at a convent in Rhode Island saw this particular film. What the hell they were doing up at that hour of the night I don't know! They came on a bus to Washington, called on their Senator, Pastore -- a good Italian, good Catholic, plugged in well to the church in Rhode Island -- and he was shocked by their story. He got on the phone and gave me unshirted hell about putting this kind of stuff on the air. That caused me to see what it was, I got back to him and told him that I had looked into it immediately and that I believed the sisters probably could be offended, but I didn't think this was the kind of thing that would offend the majority of the people. After all, we couldn't be guided entirely by some very special group, and there wasn't anything in it that -- It was marginal, let's say that.

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