Futurama Cuts UK

Cuts from The Daily Show, More 4

(written in 2009)
Watching The Daily Show on More4 in the UK is a fairly disheartening experience. Episodes are often incomplete, and not only because of censorship – More4 used to remove the "handover" segments featuring Stephen Colbert (whose show isn't on More4 or Channel 4 and is therefore meaningless). They continue to remove references to ad breaks, guests' book titles and "we'll be back tomorrow at 11", even if their removal leaves the footage half-complete, more confusing than if they had been included, and even if a joke or two is lost.

More4 always broadcast The Daily Show at 20:30 (the 23:00 repeat having been discontinued due to low intelligence). Most risqué humour survives, but the censors’ response to swearing (already censored in the original US broadcast) is to make some bleeps longer and use on-screen blurring: in common headlines like "Clusterf#@k to the White House", More4 blur extra letters out, to make sure that nobody suspects there might be a swear word there.

When extended interviews are put online, More4 blur out the on-screen announcements too, eg: "Watch the full interview on www.thedailyshow.com". They have their own reasons for censoring them, discussed below, but does a quarter of the screen have to be blurred? It looks terrible and disconcerting. A big black square would reflect More4's harsh editing style better.

A June 2008 Daily Show segment concerning John McCain's alleged use of the C-word towards his wife was censored by More4: they removed one entire joke involving a humorous fake McCain backdrop, "Experience you c**ts can count on" (that's what it said in the original)... apparently their blurring machine was broken that day. Most of the surrounding discussion survived intact, but a later bleep of "cunt" was carefully lengthened by More4.

Links – See the original C-bomb clip here (unless the video's been deleted) or on the Daily Show website (unless the site's blocked)


The Daily Show/The Colbert Report official websites

US broadcaster Comedy Central made every old and new Daily Show and Colbert Report video clip available, on demand, on the internet. Full episodes are also available online, around the world, for four weeks after they are broadcast. But all of these are inaccessible to UK internet users at the time of writing. The British TV channels with broadcasting rights to the series, C4/More4 and FXUK, denied to angry fans that they had requested this block, but given C4's history of impulsive foolishness, it seems likely that they did.

Bizarrely, in countries where these series are not popular enough to be on television regularly, anybody can view any video clip or recent full episode online.
In the UK, these are all blocked, and, supposedly, the only clips available are those from the previous 7 days on the Channel 4 website. Naturally, the channels want viewers to watch their TV broadcasts. As God intended it!

This is not exactly censorship, but comes across as a desperate (and adorably quaint) attempt by old media to fight the internet's power, instead of embracing it. Comedy Central only created their large official archives because of the popularity of illegally-uploaded Daily/Colbert clips on Youtube. As when Rupert Murdoch announced his plan to remove his newspapers from Google search results, it's hard to believe that the old methods will succeed, by force or otherwise.

More4 have been screening The Daily Show since 2005. (link) However, the block also covers episodes from 1999-2005 to which they do not have the rights.
FX actually stopped screening The Colbert Report in May 2009 (link) and More4 reduced their order in January 2011, so now they only show the once-a-week Daily Show Global Edition, making the internet blocks even more ridiculous.
Hopefully the TV channels will realise their folly and, by the time you futurepeople read this, this malarkey will no longer be necessary! In any case, happy nerding.

Links – the Online Journalism Blog, Paul Canning on C4/More4's silliness (Oct 2009) 
and Daily Show messageboard, discussion of the block and getting around it


[Probably obsolete now!]

How to watch The Daily Show/The Colbert Report online and beat the internet block

These instructions are for the new version of Firefox in June 2011. If you use an older version of the Firefox browser, see the original page on Reddit from 2009.

How it works: the Mozilla Firefox internet browser can disguise your IP address as American. Slightly tricky, but legal, and in theory it works equally well anywhere in the world. Even Britain.

1) Download Firefox – this link tells you how to download it, how great it is, blah blah blah

2) Install the following Firefox add-on:
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/967

3) Click on the menu Firefox –> Web Developer Modify Headers

4) In the drop-down box on the left, select Add

5) Enter "X-Forwarded-For" in the first input box without the quotation marks

6) Enter: "12.13.14.15" in the second input box without the quotation marks

7) Leave the last input box empty, Save the filter, and if necessary Enable it

8) In the Options tab, check/tick the button "Always on"

9) Close the Modify Headers box and it should work. See thedailyshow.com  and  colbertnation.com

10) You might also need to download Flash Player to Firefox in order to play the videos. Download it here, then open Firefox -> Downloads folder, close the Firefox browser, and double-click Install Flash Player. Then follow any extra instructions on screen.

 
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