Regulatory Watchdogs

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Greenpeace International
Public Citizen
Sierra Club

Center for Auto Safety
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Clean Air Trust
Corporate Library
Environmental Defense
Environmental Media Services
FM Watch
Friends of the Earth
PR Watch
U.S. Public Interest Research Groups


Culture Crime
The great Disney musical Song of the South hasn’t been released on video and is banished from American culture due to misplaced concern regarding its supposed insensitivity. Will Casablanca be the next film banned for crimes against popular sensibilities?

Supported by groups including the American Medical Association, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) “has decreed that any new film that glamorizes smoking, or in which smoking is pervasive, will be subject to an R rating.” In short, the movie watchdog is supporting self-censorship in the name of protecting youth from the evils of smoking.

The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that “the MPAA has been issuing its inconsistent edicts on everything from female nudity to obscenity, from gore to gayness, for decades now.” What concerns the paper isn’t the MPAA’s latest public morality campaign but their hypocrisy. Although determined to restrict smoking scenes to adult viewing, “the MPAA has pasted a lowly PG or PG-13 on slews of films that depict carnage 100 times more lethal than what occurred last month at Virginia Tech.”

The Boston Globe editorialized that when censors “give in to the impulse to restrict what others may see and hear, they do no less harm to the health of society than Humphrey Bogart puffing away in Rick's Cafe.” The way to keep kids from smoking is through education, not censorship. It’s a pity the MPAA can’t distinguish between the two.

See Philadelphia Inquirer column

See Boston Globe Editorial


CRE Homepage