FCC to crack down on cable? [Direct Salon.com link.]
I'm so glad I live in the land of the free. You know, here we have so much freedom from
During the long hot summer in Washington, [Kevin J. Martin, FCC chairman] has been quietly meeting with religious activists and industry leaders to organize a push for new standards for broadcast, cable and satellite television. At the same time, Martin's allies in the Senate have been considering new laws that could increase broadcast indecency fines, break up cable TV offerings to allow parents to cut off racy channels, and -- most controversially -- give the FCC the power to fine basic cable programs, like MTV's "Real World" and Comedy Central's "Daily Show," for crude and lewd content.I'm not even going to touch on the freedom of speech part. What happened to that other ammendment? Something about not letting the government be run by religious nuts? Oh, right, we did away with that one. Oh well, we didn't need it anyway. But seriously, I'm all for a 'pay by channel' structure for cable. I was telling Pega the other day that I would love to just be able to pay for Sci Fi Channel, Animal Planet, Comedy Central, Discovery, History, Spike TV and maybe a handful of others and get rid of all the CNN celebrity sport religious crap. But it's not going to happen. Not even for the fundies.
Martin has asked media companies to offer a new "family-friendly" tier of cable programming, a package that would likely exclude channels like MTV and Spike TV.Yes, because GOD FORBID the kiddies be exposed to 5 hours of Star Trek a day. Not to mention that sick MacGyver fellow, what with being smart and fixing things and... oh wait, Mac's a liberal hippie pinko douche. Yes, let's keep him away from America's god-fearing jingo kiddies.
Worried about the bottom line, the cable and satellite industry has responded by launching a campaign to educate parents about available technology, like the V-Chip, that can block certain channels from any single television. The campaign has been opposed by a powerful coterie of family advocacy groups and activists with close ties to major evangelical ministries and the Bush White House. "It will be war," says Schatz, of the coming battle over cable and satellite regulation. "There will be tremendous grass-roots pressure brought to bear."Yes! Down with the V-chip! Down with parents actually having the ability to parent! Who do they think they are.... parents? *snerk* The fundies just don't want non-christian heathen parents blocking Pat Robertson's Assassination Prayer Brigade from their tv's.
This summer, Martin hired one of the activists, Penny Nance, to work in the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, a position that will allow her to advise on indecency issues. Nance founded the Kids First Coalition, a group that fights abortion, cloning and indecency in the name of "pro-child, pro-family public policy." She has long been one of the nation's leading anti-pornography crusaders, testifying repeatedly before Congress. During the last presidential campaign, she appeared on Fox News as a "suburban stay-at-home mom" to say that women believe President Bush will "protect our children."Yes, Bush will protect your kiddies from all kinds of original thought, long enough for them to turn 18 so he can send them to die in some pointless war. But he can send them to fight the clones! And she'll kill two birds with one
In public talks, she describes herself as a "victim of pornography" because she says a man who once tried to rape her watched porn.*snickersnort* I know I shouldn't be laughing at rape but... *lmao* oh come on! What about the millions of porn watchers who've never raped anyone?
Among other items, the group plans to discuss state or federal legislation that would redefine as obscene any close-up shots of vaginal intercourse or oral sex. If passed, and upheld by the courts, Burress said he hopes the new laws, which have not yet been introduced, will outlaw much of mainstream pornography, including programs delivered over pay-per-view cable and satellite networks. "I disconnected my cable," Burress said. "It got so bad that you couldn't even watch a football game."With liberty and pornography for NO ONE. *facepalms* Bloody puritans. I don't blame England for letting them go in the first place, but now they're our problem and can't England just take them back? They can have a good ol' medieval execution and rid the world of crazy.
Also, maybe I don't watch enough late-night tv, but I've never seen close up vaginas or blowjobs on basic cable. Maybe they do that sort of thing on Showtime, but not on MTV. That I've seen.
Under the current rules, material is indecent if it is "offensive as measured by contemporary community standards." But standards vary widely from community to community, household to household.THANK YOU! The law is too subjective to be useful, so it should be done away with completely.
There is little doubt that Martin knows the political stakes of the coming fight. In 2003, he shared his concerns over indecency in a letter to the Parents Television Council, a group that has called for a boycott of shows like the WB's "Everwood" because it features adults who encourage teenage characters to use birth control and, in one case, have an abortion.I rest my case.