[Turban Cowboy] Fox pulls ‘Family Guy’ episode ‘Turban Cowboy’ after marathon connection

Fox has removed a “Family Guy” episode from streaming sites and said it has no plans to re-air it after a YouTube user spliced together scenes to “predict” the Boston Marathon bombing.

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Fox has pulled an episode of “Family Guy” after an edited video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to show a bombing at the Boston Marathon.

A Fox spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times the network had no plans to re-air the episode, titled “Turban Cowboy,” and had pulled it from online streaming on Fox.com and Hulu. The episode originally aired March 17 as the 15th episode of the show’s 11th season.

“Turban Cowboy” had scenes of an attempted bombing of a bridge in Quahog, the fictional Rhode Island town where the Griffin family lives in “Family Guy,” and a flashback showing lead character Peter Griffin winning the Boston Marathon by mowing down all of his competitors in a car.

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The two violent events were shown in different parts of the episode, but the YouTube clip edited them together to suggest the episode predicted or inspired the bombings.

After conservative talk show host Alex Jones, a proponent of “false flag” theories, suggested a connection, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane blasted the edited video.

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YouTube has since removed the edited clip.

Link to the original episode of family guy WITH the bridges exploding, boston runover, and mobile phone detonations of bombs.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/468323#i0,p178,d0

Episode description here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2626870/

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HR 4310-326

HR 4310-327

HR 4310-328

Pages 326-328

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr4310enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr4310enr.pdf

HR5736

HR 5736

HR 5736 IH

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5736

To amend the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 to authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 10, 2012

Mr. THORNBERRY (for himself and Mr. SMITH of Washington) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


A BILL

 

To amend the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 to authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012’.

SEC. 2. DISSEMINATION ABROAD OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE UNITED STATES.

(a) United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948- Section 501 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1461) is amended to read as follows:

‘GENERAL AUTHORIZATION

‘Sec. 501. (a) The Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors are authorized to use funds appropriated or otherwise made available for public diplomacy information programs to provide for the preparation, dissemination, and use of information intended for foreign audiences abroad about the United States, its people, and its policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, the Internet, and other information media, including social media, and through information centers, instructors, and other direct or indirect means of communication.

‘(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors may, upon request and reimbursement of the reasonable costs incurred in fulfilling such a request, make available, in the United States, motion pictures, films, video, audio, and other materials prepared for dissemination abroad or disseminated abroad pursuant to this Act, the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.), or the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.). The Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall issue necessary regulations–

‘(A) to establish procedures to maintain such material;

‘(B) for reimbursement of the reasonable costs incurred in fulfilling requests for such material; and

‘(C) to ensure that the persons seeking release of such material have secured and paid for necessary United States rights and licenses.

‘(2) With respect to material prepared for dissemination abroad or disseminated abroad before the effective date of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012–

‘(A) the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall make available to the Archivist of the United States, for domestic distribution, motion pictures, films, videotapes, and other material 12 years after the initial dissemination of the material abroad; and

‘(B) the Archivist shall be the official custodian of the material and shall issue necessary regulations to ensure that persons seeking its release in the United States have secured and paid for necessary United States rights and licenses and that all costs associated with the provision of the material by the Archivist shall be paid by the persons seeking its release, in accordance with paragraph (3).

‘(3) The Archivist may charge fees to recover the costs described in paragraph (2), in accordance with section 2116(c) of title 44. Such fees shall be paid into, administered, and expended as part of the National Archives Trust Fund.

‘(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to require the Secretary or the Broadcasting Board of Governors to make material disseminated abroad available in any format other than in the format disseminated abroad.’.

(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section may be construed to affect the allocation of funds appropriated or otherwise made specifically available for public diplomacy.

(c) Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987- Section 208 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 (22 U.S.C. 1461-1a) is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 208. CLARIFICATION ON DOMESTIC DISTRIBUTION OF PROGRAM MATERIAL.

‘(a) In General- No funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States. This section shall apply only to programs carried out pursuant to the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.), and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.). This section shall not prohibit or delay the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from providing information about its operations, policies, programs, or program material, or making such available, to the media, public, or Congress, in accordance with other applicable law.

‘(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure. Such material may be made available within the United States and disseminated, when appropriate, pursuant to sections 502 and 1005 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1462 and 1437), except that nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors to disseminate within the United States any program material prepared for dissemination abroad on or before the effective date of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012.

‘(c) Application- The provisions of this section shall apply only to the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors and to no other department or agency of the Federal Government.’.

(d) Conforming Amendments- The United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 is amended–

(1) in section 502 (22 U.S.C. 1462)–

(A) by inserting ‘and the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ after ‘Secretary’; and

(B) by inserting ‘or the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ after ‘Department’; and

(2) in section 1005 (22 U.S.C. 1437), by inserting ‘and the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ after ‘Secretary’ each place it appears.

(e) Effective Date- This Act shall take effect and apply on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr5736/text

Passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA 2013] HR 4310, signed by Obama

on 12/29/2012. Pages 326-328

:http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-11…

‘HR 5736 Amendment’:

http://goo.gl/QPCPZ ~credits video: http://youtube.com/jamnoise72

~Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban:

http://goo.gl/n512q

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z…

HR 5736 — A Bill to Establish An Orwellian Truth Ministry:

http://goo.gl/6Qni0

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B-304272, PREPACKAGED NEWS STORIES, February 17, 2005

[Select for PDF file]

B-304272

DATE: February 17, 2005

TO: HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND OTHERS CONCERNED

SUBJECT: PREPACKAGED NEWS STORIES

Since 1951, Congress has enacted an annual, governmentwide prohibition on the use of appropriated funds for purposes of “publicity or propaganda.” During the past year, we found that several prepackaged news stories produced and distributed by certain government agencies violated this prohibition. [1] In the course of our work, we learned that prepackaged news stories have become common tools of the public relations industry, and that some federal agencies are adopting them as well. The purpose of this letter is to remind agencies of the constraints imposed by the publicity or propaganda prohibition on the use of prepackaged news stories and to advise vigilance to assure that agencies’ activities comply with the prohibition. Importantly, prepackaged news stories can be utilized without violating the law, so long as there is clear disclosure to the television viewing audience that this material was prepared by or in cooperation with the government department or agency.

Prepackaged news stories are complete, audio-video presentations that may be included in video news releases, or VNRs. They are intended to be indistinguishable from news segments broadcast to the public by independent television news organizations. To help accomplish this goal, these stories include actors or others hired to portray “reporters” and may be accompanied by suggested scripts that television news anchors can use to introduce the story during the broadcast. These practices allow prepackaged news stories to be broadcast, without alteration, as television news.

The current publicity or propaganda prohibition states: “No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress.” Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Pub. L. No. 108-447, div. G, title II, 624, 118 Stat. 2809, 3278 (Dec. 8, 2004). (The language of the prohibition has remained virtually unchanged since 1951.) We have previously taken exception to an agency’s use of appropriated funds to produce printed materials that concealed the agency’s role in sponsoring the materials. 66Comp. Gen. 707 (1987) (State Department retained contractors to prepare and have published newspaper articles and op-ed pieces “as the ostensible position of persons not associated with the government”); B223098, B223098.2, Oct.10, 1986 (Small Business Administration prepared and distributed to newspapers “suggested editorials . . . for publication as the ostensible editorial position of the recipient newspapers”).

In two cases this past year, the agencies commissioned and distributed prepackaged news stories and introductory scripts about their activities that were designed to be indistinguishable from news stories produced by private news broadcasters. B303495, Jan. 4, 2005; B302710, May19, 2004. In neither case did the agency include any statement or other indication in its news stories that disclosed to the television viewing audience, the target of the purported news stories, that the agency wrote and produced those news stories. In other words, television-viewing audiences did not know that stories they watched on television news programs about the government were, in fact, prepared by the government . We concluded that those prepackaged news stories violated the publicity or propaganda prohibition. [3]

While agencies generally have the right to disseminate information about their policies and activities, agencies may not use appropriated funds to produce or distribute prepackaged news stories intended to be viewed by television audiences that conceal or do not clearly identify for the television viewing audience that the agency was the source of those materials. It is not enough that the contents of an agency’s communication may be unobjectionable. Neither is it enough for an agency to identify itself to the broadcasting organization as the source of the prepackaged news story.

As we stated in B-302710, “In a modest but meaningful way, the publicity or propaganda restriction helps to mark the boundary between an agency making information available to the public and agencies creating news reports unbeknownst to the receiving audience.” See also B-303495, Jan.4, 2005, n.29. This is not the only marker Congress has enacted to delineate the boundaries between the government and the free American press. See, e.g., 22U.S.C. 1461, 1461-1a (restricting the domestic dissemination of news reports originally created by the government for broadcast abroad). Statutory limits on the domestic dissemination of U.S. government-produced news reports reflect concern that allowing the government to produce domestic news broadcasts would infringe upon the freedom of the press and constitute (or at least give the appearanceof) an attempt to control public opinion. B118654-O.M., Apr.17,1979.

Agency officials should scrutinize any proposed prepackaged news stories to ensure appropriate disclosures. Should you or your staff have questions concerning the application of these principles in particular cases, our Office of General Counsel is available to assist on an informal consultative basis or, as necessary, on a formal decision basis. Please contact Susan A. Poling, Managing Associate General Counsel, at 202-512-2667, or Thomas H. Armstrong, Assistant General Counsel, at 202-512-8257.

David M. Walker

Comptroller General

of the United States