On Thursday’s PBS NewsHour, they devoted almost seven minutes to leftist porn-art icon Robert Mapplethorpe, about a month after the HBO documentary honoring him. The only difference? Unlike HBO, PBS censored all the most outrageous images, since it’s a broadcast network. (Not that they’d have to worry much about Obama’s FCC.)
PBS correspondent Jeffrey Brown explained “Mapplethorpe was best known for his homoerotic photographs and explicit sadomasochistic imagery, and the political and legal battles around them. Even now, we’ve chosen not to present his most controversial work.”
But PBS didn’t just censor the art. They couldn’t even bring themselves to describe it. We’re not told about Mapplethorpe’s naked self-portrait with a bullwhip us his anus. We’re not told about his pornification of a little boy and a little girl. We’re not told about “Jim and Tom, Sausalito” – a photo in which one man urinates into another’s mouth.