FCC Wants To Decide What You Can Watch On Cable

from the overreaching dept

Under its current leadership, the FCC has made it a priority to impose the morals of a small group of people on all television viewers by cracking down on so-called indecent programming. Not content with abusing the power to regulate over-the-air broadcasters, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has been trying to extend his authority to act as moral policeman over cable and other paid systems as well, by bullying cable operators into offering "family tiers" of channels or a-la-carte pricing. He does this because the FCC doesn't have the power to regulate paid networks -- though that could soon change. The FCC will soon recommend that Congress pass a new law giving it the ability to not only regulate "indecent" programming, but also violence in TV shows, and also allowing it to regulate what's shown on basic cable channels. Just to review, cable is something that people pay for, and that they willingly invite into their own home. If they don't like what's on it, they can either take advantage of the myriad tools that exist to allow people to block objectionable content (from family tiers to the V-chip to controls on set-top boxes, or simply even the remote control), or they can choose to not bring it into their home. Giving the FCC these additional powers will simply push it further towards being the Federal Censorship Commission, and will have a chilling effect on all sorts of speech. However, even if Congress should pass new legislation in this area, getting it to stand up to scrutiny in the courts will be another matter. Just as state legislators' efforts to ban the sale of certain video games to minors have consistently been knocked back by the courts, Congress and the FCC may find they're overstepping their bounds -- and the Constitution.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    SPR, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:39am

    Since when has the Constitution ever been a stumbling block for the FCC?

     

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    MissingFrame, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:47am

    Good for internet TV.

    All that content has to go somewhere, and people will pay for it, so by regulating cable, the FCC would just push that content and demand (and cash) to internet videos.

     

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  3.  
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    Sean T., Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:50am

    Federal Crybaby Commission

    As a broadcast television engineer for over 15 years I have no respect for the FCC. The organization used to be about policing those broadcasters (radio and TV) that were in violation of technical discrepancies and had numerous actual engineers on staff to identify and fine those that were broadcasting sloppy signals. Now the Commish is significantly dumbed-down and filled with political 'yes' men. It has become the lap dog of any special interest group that can capture its attention to 'save our children' from the evil TV shows. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and "SPEAK UP". Don't let them walk all over your freedom of choice. They get away with far too much already.

     

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    D Cate, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:51am

    Home of the Free

    While I do not care to watch the the "filth" (my own values associated) and wouldn't allow my children to watch it, I understand a founding principle. Forcing my values upon someone only undermines my own basis; essentially I'd would forcing my personal values into an arbitrary set of rules.
    I believe people should be free to watch and say what they want as long as they are not causing harm to someone else. If I don't like what's being shown, I do what I would always do, change the channel!
    With the massive selection of information we have today, it's absurd and arrogant that 1 person believes they halt the flow of information. It's up to the parents, the good parents, to set the boundaries for their children. It's time for us as parents to take back the power and responsibility of being a parent and making our own decisions and not have them dictated to us.

     

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    Overcast, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:53am

    Another day, another attempt to whittle away at free speech.

    But what else would anyone expect from another power hungry lawyer!!?

     

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  6.  
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    haywood, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 7:17am

    I want my smut TV

    If not for the freedom of expression allowed by cable only channels, shows like the Sopranos, Weeds and Deadwood would never have seen the light of day. I for one have viewed every episode of all of the above and will be there if more are made. I've even watched Dexter, but hesitate to recommend it. My point is; this sort of entertainment has an audience, and they have a right to enjoy it. Assuming it offends you in some way, turn it off, tune it out. Why would it offend anyone that someone else enjoys it. I'm not a Satanist, quite the opposite, I just enjoy that sort of raw entertainment.

     

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  7.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Apr 25th, 2007 @ 7:32am

    Yay. Our own Chancellor Sutler. Strength through unity brothers!

     

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  8.  
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    discojohnson, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 7:41am

    most popular comment..

    I've said it numerous times before...but really, it's the most true part of the world: personal responsibility. I have children and if I want to be a bad parent and let my kids watch HBO at night when the adult-themed movies are on, that's my choice. Big brother doesn't have the authority to not let me raise annoying children.

     

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  9.  
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    James, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 7:43am

    Thank you for some common sense #3

    This person excluded, what most fundies and neo-cons don't get is that the world is NOT becoming more conservative?

    Freedom is about what and how you want to enjoy things for yourself, and making choices that work for you w/o stepping on the freedoms of others.

    These people, like the ones at the FCC currently, simply don't get that. Their judgement is MUCH BETTER than yours about determining whats right for you or and family. Thank goodness they are smart enough to "watch out" for us. (barfs)

    These people's lives are so boring and deprived that they must try to restrict the personal lives of others to feel important. GET THE F@CK OVER YOURSELVES!

     

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    Dustin, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:00am

    Since #6 won't do it I will: Watch Dexter ;) Granted of course you can stand the idea of a sociopathic serial killer hero (only kills bad people)... lol.

     

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    lavi d (profile), Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:04am

    Evil

    Every day, I come to hate the FCC, the RIAA and the MPAA more and more.

    I don't know how much capacity I have for hate, but it seems to be keeping in step with their capacity for evil.

    Can the combined hatred of millions of Americans cause them to suddenly implode like the wretched house at the end of "Poltergeist"?

     

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    Bob, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:05am

    This FCC is run by the Bush Administration, and when is the last time anyone in the Bush administration paid any attention to the Constitution. You must remember their first Attorney General, John Ashcroft was so unpopular iin his home state that he lost his Senate election to a dead man.

     

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    JWW, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Re: Thank you for some common sense #3

    James,

    Don't delude yourself in thinking that conservatives have a monopoly on all this 'Think of the Children' crap. Liberals, while not doing exactly what conservatives do, will do other things just as bad (Tipper Gore anyone?).

    This mentality needs to be rooted our of our political system at all levels. People need to condition themselves to reflexively question anyone who wants to do something 'For the Children.'

     

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  14.  
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    Matt Bennett, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    Can someone tell me why it's ok to limit minors from porn, but not from M games?

     

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    Xenohacker@hotmail.com, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:42am

    Kevin Martin's Manhood Is Lacking

    FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's manhood must be lacking and so he is trying to extend his power by pushing laws to control our "paid TV services". However, this one won't go anywhere farther. The cable providers wouldn't stand for it. They would lose tons of business and I have a feeling there are plenty of people that have cable that are important enough to keep it uncensored...

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:47am

    This is nonsense

    I am so sick of one group of people thinking it knows what is best for everyone else. It's good to see that these special interest groups are interested in protecting the children but their going about it the wrong way. And I think they are going the wrong way because they have prioritized getting publicity (even if it's bad) over actually protecting the kiddies. They basically say free speech is not as important as their desire to protect them.

    What they fail to realize is that there are already plenty of ways to monitor what kids watch. Almost every cable and satellite provider offers some sort of parent lockout scheme. On the hardware end there are V-Chips. Whatever happened to keeping an eye on what they were watching? And for the parents on the go parental lockouts work wonders.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Thank you for some common sense #3

    Precisely. "Protecting the Children" isn't a conservative issue. It's the current brownie points issue and any politician (Dem., Rep., or otherwise) will use this angle to get into office.

     

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  18.  
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    Anon Covert, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:11am

    Look, I hate the FCC as much as the next guy, but honestly Carlo what part of the constitution are you referring to?

     

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    James, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Thank you for some common sense #3

    Not to belittle your point, but did you once hear me use the word LIBERAL? Not that that word, in and of itself is bad, but I'm certainly defending no one. People on both sides of the political aisle are full of "crazies". I for one would never defend "Tipper" and her lyrics rating bs.

    I was merely suggesting a) the world isn't becoming more conservative and b) the conversative ones (that are blinded by their "my way" or "no way" thinking) are showing how increasingly they are nuts.

    Thanx ;-)

     

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  20.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    Re: Anon Covert

    He's pointing to that little section in fine print called the First Amendment. You know with the loopholes about free speech and all.

    And since cable companies are privet organisations and not broadcasting over public free airwaves they are not subject to the FCC telling them what they can and can't show.

     

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  21.  
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    FCC, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    then and now

    well the FCC is good and bad.

    in the part where FCC controls the technology of brodcasting, it's great.

    but once it starts taking moral judgements, that's too far.

    one man's porn is another mans art (to an extent)

    because i can't tell you what filth is, but i do know it when i see it.

     

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  22.  
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    Some Guy, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:27am

    Dont understand...

    I thought the FCC only had say over signals that were broadcast through the air.... When did they get the right to govern over my cable signal. As far as Im concerned, cable is a private line between comcast and myself, how do they even come into the picture?

     

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  23.  
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    Anon Covert, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Anon Covert

    The FCC is charged with regulating communications based on the Communications Act of 1934.

    The is no discrepancy between "private" and "public" airwaves.

     

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  24.  
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    Disgusted, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    They are slowly going to make us turn in the insurgency of the US fighting the suits and ties that sit perched up in their offices. How dare they try and censor what I'm paying to watch? I'm, paying for it I want to watch it. Plain and simple. I think that if they do this everyone should cancel their cable/ satellite subscription. And if that doesn't work blow up the buildings of the MPAA RIAA FCC. Maybe then they'll listen. Now for all of you that will say that's not right cause we'll just turn into people like the Insurgency in the middle east. well 2 things I have to say about that.

    1. Thanks to the FEDERAL government being in Iraq for 3 years has shown me more violence than I've ever seen on TV.
    2. What the insurgents have been doing out there has caught the eye of the whole world. Why cause they believe that it is unfair what we are doing, hence they are retaliating. But guess what It's working... All the dems are fighting to get us outta there. Why would they stop when they know that part of our government is trying to get us outta there. They know there will be a deadline soon why will they stop??? The will not. So I propose we NUKE em... Problem solved. Now I've gone off on a tangent here but what I'm trying to say is. Isn't this country built on war? Yes, history proves it.. Now don't we as a government, American civilization have the mind set that if you don't get what you want go out and get it? So why can't we revolt or should I say go get our freedom back from the faggot suites and ties that are trying to tell us what we can watch even if we are paying for it.. I thought this was the land of the free... Or is it becoming the land where your free to limit people rights to do say and watch what they want???

     

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  25.  
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    Anon Covert, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    I've never stayed in the "faggot suites" before, but when did they start putting freedom in there?

     

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  26.  
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    Disgusted, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:35am

    And one more thing. Just to set things straight. I do not support any insurgency or any terrorists. I hate them all and think they should all be executed. Cause they are trying to impose their religion on us.
    I'm not a Muslim Arab or any of the above, nor any I someone that believes in terrorism, I just think it's unfair that and unconstitutional that they are trying to regulate our freedoms that we as Americans pay for through our taxes and our/ my service in the military.
    I'm paying for the RIAA, MPAA, FCC TO GERGULATE ME, WELL THEN. I guess I should fire them...

     

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  27.  
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    Dusgusted, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:36am

    Sorry I meant to type SUITS

     

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  28.  
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    IronChef, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:36am

    Liberalism mindset

    One of my My Political Science Professors pretty much summed it up in a few un-elloquent words--

    "Conservatives mindset is one where there is a belief in personal responsibility, whereas the liberal mindset is one where Government needs to protect people from themselves."

    What's funny is that back in the founding of the USA, liberals were the English, and the conservatives were the Union.

    I worry about where we're going...

     

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  29.  
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    Disgusted, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:53am

    Ok, maybe blowing them up is a little harsh, maybe we can set off 100's of paintball grenades in front of their buildings.. That would even be funny. And no terrorism charges filed against anyone. Just maybe some Graffiti charges that's all. Or maybe even a good protest in front of their building, stopping them from being able to get to their offices to do more damage...

     

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  30.  
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    Frenchy Frog, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:57am

    D Cate's response

    Boy I couldn't agree more with D Cate. The statements made were exactly as I would have made them. It is the individual person's decision what should or should not be seen in their household.

    Less government, more freedom!

     

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  31.  
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    writer55, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 11:19am

    Three thoughts.
    1. Cable television IS broadcast as it goes through the air/space on a freq. at some point of its journey. How do you think the signal gets from the provider to your cable company, by wire strung between the two? The reason for the FCC's existence is to ensure the public gets the most from this limited number of freqs.

    2. I for one, like the idea of ala carte. I do not care for my satellite company's take it all or nothing packages. I also don't like others telling me I can just turn my TV off. Don't we have a right to pick and choose what we want to buy? I don't have kids so why should I have to pay for Nick at Nite, Cartoon Network, or the Disney channels? I'm NOT suggesting that those channels should be yanked from the air, just that I should be able to choose what I buy. What's wrong with that?

    3. FREE SPEECH! Everyone cries free speech whenever anyone suggests deciding what should or should not be allowed. But what about those wronged providers? Does free speech allow me to show my video on the air or does NBC et. al., just laugh in my face? What about the show Firefly (plug in your own favorite)? We didn't decide to stop watching THEY decided for us, even though there may have been literally millions still tuning into every episode.

    I'm not say agree with the FCC. Just some things to think on.

     

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  32.  
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    John, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    Who says what I get to watch?

    And who will be in charge of the new "decency" rules and tell me what I can and can't watch?

    Let's see: violence on The Sopranos is bad, but violence from the Iraq War is allowed, even though it's real and is much worse.
    (Sorry to spoil the story, but the actors who "died" on The Sopranos are still alive.)

    Nudity?
    Is it okay to show a documentary about native tribes where the native women are topless? How about a documentary on the beaches of Europe where (white) women are topless?

    Super Bowl scandal?
    It's horribly, terribly wrong that Janet Jackson flashed a nipple for 1/4 of a second, yet no one complains about how the beer commercials degrade women by showing a horse's fart exploding in her face? She was "burned" like Daffy Duck and no real damage was done, but still.

    Or how about the commercial where a guy trains his dog to bite another guy in the crotch, which was (of course) played for laughs.

    Also, don't confuse this issue with networks pulling shows off the air for low ratings. In the above example, Firefly wasn't pulled off the air because it was indecent- it was cancelled because FOX didn't think it was getting good enough ratings.
    Many people thought "Married... with Children" was "indecent"... but FOX thought it got good enough ratings and kept it on the air.

    So, even though The Sopranos may be the best show on television (and may have won more Emmys than any other show), would the FCC force HBO to stop showing it because the violence is too high for the new "standards"?

     

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    The infamous Joe, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 11:47am

    Thought provoking.

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    -The Declaration of Independence



    Yeah, thought this might apply again, soon.

     

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  34.  
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    glitch, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 11:48am

    All Nick chans, Cartoon Network, the Disney channe

    ban 'em all....they are valuabe resources for pedophiles

    if you go into a perverts house, i am guesstimating that 90+ % of them watch those channels more than Playboy After Dark or Spice or whatever there is out there.

     

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  35.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Re: All Nick chans, Cartoon Network, the Disney ch

    If you don't put something in your post showing that you're being sarcastic-- someone will take you seriously.

    Just thought I'd warn you. :)

     

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  36.  
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    glitch, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 12:06pm

    Re: The infamous Joe

    thanks...sarcasm intended...

    further, with tongue-in-cheek:
    sadly, isnt there a bit of truth to that ???

    also, look at advertising on tv: a burger commercial:
    ****** Bob, no pants ???
    wonder how many moms around here have been "exposed" to that

     

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  37.  
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    wtf, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 1:13pm

    seriously, wtf is country heading? I thought I was living in land of free? is more like land of regulations.. now tv, video game,movies,xxx, what is next jerking off ? I bet religion fucker are happy.

     

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    Disgusted, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Yeah, especially if you live in the bible belt

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 1:44pm

    its the christians(christanity in all its forms) all through history they have used 'morales' 'god' 'heaven' 'hell' to controll and brainwash. at one time it was more violent (of course bush is bringing that back)

    leave me alone,i live my life and i raise my child the best i can, dont put your shit in my nose

     

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  40.  
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    Gabrieltane (profile), Apr 25th, 2007 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    3. FREE SPEECH! Everyone cries free speech whenever anyone suggests deciding what should or should not be allowed. But what about those wronged providers? Does free speech allow me to show my video on the air or does NBC et. al., just laugh in my face? What about the show Firefly (plug in your own favorite)? We didn't decide to stop watching THEY decided for us, even though there may have been literally millions still tuning into every episode.
    -writer55


    I'm missing your point here. Everyone cries "free speech" whenever censorship is mentioned, because that's the heart of the matter. Censorship destroys one group or another's freedom to express their opinion.

    The common counter to this is "people have the right to not be offended." However, there are two things to remember when you're dealing with "free speech" and the First Amendment...

    1) You don't have any right to say what you want...
    2) You don't have any right to not be offended...

    Free speech means that the Government will not enact a law that limits your ability to say what you want. And it has nothing to with whether or not you’re offended.

    So if the government (FCC) enacts laws to limit what is said (shown) based on "morals", "offensiveness" or "decency", the problem isn't why those laws were enacted... it's that they were enacted at all.

    As to your statements about Firefly (great show, IMO)... you don't have "the right" to the shows you like. As the receiver of these shows, you don't get any more say than the broadcasters give you. If they don't want to air a show (i.e., provide a service), then they have no obligation to. The "free speech" here would be that if they want to show it, the Government can't say "no".

     

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  41.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Apr 25th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Thought provoking.

    "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    -The Declaration of Independence

    Yeah, thought this might apply again, soon.

    -The infamous Joe


    You know... I was thinking about that earlier, but I couldn't remember which Revolutionary document it was. Thanks!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Abolish the FCC. Seriously.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Apr 25th, 2007 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    "Abolish the FCC. Seriously."
    -Anonymous Coward


    No, bitchslap them back into thier place of regulation and neuter them for getting uppity and pandering to the money of religious and "moral" interests.

     

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    Matt Bennett, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 2:11pm

    The FCC has perfectly legitmate purpose in allocating bandwidth. They simple never need worry about the content, is all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 3:10pm

    But what else would anyone expect from another pow

    Lawyers are not the power hungry ones, politicians and church people are.

    Lawyers are merely money hungry.

     

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  46.  
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    Brian Harris, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 3:18pm

    When did we start living in china?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re:

    No, bitchslap them back into thier place of regulation
    "Regulating" is all they're trying to do now. Like "regulating" content.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 5:54pm

    Re:

    The FCC has perfectly legitmate purpose in allocating bandwidth.
    Why? To create an artificial bandwidth scarcity to enrich those the FCC grants bandwidth to?

    They simple never need worry about the content, is all.
    So you would be OK with local television stations televising hardcore porn?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:01pm

    Re: But what else would anyone expect from another

    "Lawyers are not the power hungry ones, politicians and church people are.
    Lawyers are merely money hungry."

    Did you ever notice how many politicians are ex-lawyers?

     

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    Derek (profile), Apr 25th, 2007 @ 6:58pm

    HYPOCRISY from the Neo-Con-Jobs as per usual...

    This is so insanely stupid. As per usual the Neo-Con-Job scum currently ruling the executive branch, and therefore infecting the FCC with their nonsense, want to talk out of both sides of their mouth.

    1) They want to dismantle the federal government such that it minimizes regulation (of corporations).

    2) They want to pull the 'We Are Christians' baloney and regulate everything they can lay their hands on that will make the reactionary pseudo-Christians happy.

    Result: Total hypocrisy.

    What are we experiencing: Nothing remotely close to actual sincerity. It is pure, or should I say impure, politics. The REAL Christians are suckers. They get this token totalitarian approach to government while the Neo-Con-Jobs get to line each other's pockets by making the USA into a corporation run plutocracy/medieval throw back. The ruling gods here are most certainly NOT Yahweh. They are Greed and Mammon.

    As ever, the ideal path is moderation in all things.

    Corporations require being moderately regulated in order that they not to rape everyone and everything for the sake of profit.

    TV requires moderate regulation for the sake of allowing children, and everyone else, to live a life without having violence and sex inflicted into it at every turn.

    In this case, clearly the FCC has no jurisdiction and it should stay that way. If a parent is too dopey to block offensive cable channels, then that is /their/ responsibility. It has nothing-whatsoever to do with the federal government or any other humans on Earth. It's that simple.

    If only we humans could evolve to the point where we take personal responsibility for our personal actions. Grow up humanity!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    Wyndle, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    It seems that most missed the real point

    Think about what would happen when a Federal organization has control over paid programming. Now add to that the Fairness Doctrine. Now add to both of those H.R. 1592. Folks, this is an orchestrated attack on all forms of communication. You will not be able to speak poorly of any person or group. You will not be able to hold political discussion on any controlled media without giving equal time to each other opinion (which is in itself a catch-22, there are as many opinions as there are people). And finally, you will not be able to watch or listen to anything that isn't approved by the government. Big brother quit watching a long time ago... now he's got us tied to a chair and is about to gag us.

     

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  52.  
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    Clear thinker, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 10:50pm

    Should have seen this coming...

    WIFI needs some of the spectrum so the old TVs that us this spectrum is going to become obsolete. This means the FCC is finding that regulating something that no one is going to be able to use is quite redundant, so the plan is to keep their jobs. It wouldn't surprise me if this bill doesn't get passed soully on that precept. The FCC money bags will be lining some deep pockets so that they won't lose that avenue of revenue.

     

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  53.  
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    BTR1701, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 6:03am

    Re: Who says what I get to watch?

    > And who will be in charge of
    > the new "decency" rules and tell
    > me what I can and can't watch?

    The bible thumpers, of course. If you really want to watch something funny, just point out that the bible is one of the most violent, blood-soaked stories ever written and any TV show based on it should be censored under their own rules.

    Then sit back and laugh as their heads twist off and they start sputtering out "But that's different!" rationales.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    SailorRipley, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 10:41am

    You know, this would be so funny if it wasn't so dangerous and widespread... I have been living in the US for about 2 years, but was born and raised in Belgium. There is no censorship in Belgium, sure, they won't show a movie using the word fuck 237 times around 5pm, nor would they with movies with extreme violence or erotic content. Yet, once the kids are supposed to be in bed, or at least supervised by parents (9 pm), any movie goes (this does not mean porn)...uncut. I have seen 1 time a movie on Belgian TV that was edited for content and the tv station got complaints that they had "censored" it... Movies over here in the US get butchered because of all the beeps or blanks or overdubbing (which is pretty annoying) because god forbid we use words like "shit" or "fuck" or "ass" on TV....or scenes get cut, partially or entirely because of content... [I'm sure often they hide behind the we have to cut some scenes to keep it to our schedule argument...(well, let's go a long with that for a second: sure, maybe, but how come it's always the less desirable content scenes that get cut, not the least relevant for the story/movie scenes, seems to me those are the ones that can be most easily missed) but that doesn't happen in Belgium either....if a movie is 2h:10m (including commercial breaks), then the next show will start at 10:10, not 10] there's also no blurring of breasts, asses or pubic areas (if they're not being cut in US TV versions) Even though there's no rules against it and they wouldn't be fined, TV stations don't show (hard core) porn, not even late, or after midnight (the only hardcore porn on Belgian TV is to get a bundle of Movie channels, which you pay for, they show 1 porn every night, or used to) my point? two actually: 1) good news: apparently, surprise surprise, an environment lacking a "moral authority" like the FCC likes to be, does not lead to (moralistic) Armageddon on TV or in society. 2) bad news: moralists don't need the FCC, if they're so convinced their view is the majority view, by boycotting shows/networks they will be able to effectively censor TV anyway, or at least channels that target them as an audience... It could all be so simple: you don't like certain content: don't watch it, and ban it from your TV, there's plenty of ways to do this... tell your kids they're not allowed to watch it...(but hold on, if you're raising your kids "right", they shouldn't be interested anyway, because they should consider it indecent as well...and even if they're tempted, haven't you raised them "right", so that they wouldn't be disobedient?) or block objectionable content (from family tiers to the V-chip to controls on set-top boxes, or simply even the remote control). never use the "for the children" doctrine, we all know it's bogus, the real agenda is to force your standards/taste on everyone...and sadly, often it works (just look at that Canadian cell phone provider that was offering erotic content)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    SailorRipley, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 10:43am

    I apologize, I hit submit instead of preview, otherwise I would have noticed the lack of new lines in the html

    You know, this would be so funny if it wasn't so dangerous and widespread...

    I have been living in the US for about 2 years, but was born and raised in Belgium.

    There is no censorship in Belgium, sure, they won't show a movie using the word fuck 237 times around 5pm, nor would they with movies with extreme violence or erotic content. Yet, once the kids are supposed to be in bed, or at least supervised by parents (9 pm), any movie goes (this does not mean porn)...uncut. I have seen 1 time a movie on Belgian TV that was edited for content and the tv station got complaints that they had "censored" it...

    Movies over here in the US get butchered because of all the beeps or blanks or overdubbing (which is pretty annoying) because god forbid we use words like "shit" or "fuck" or "ass" on TV....or scenes get cut, partially or entirely because of content...

    [I'm sure often they hide behind the we have to cut some scenes to keep it to our schedule argument...(well, let's go a long with that for a second: sure, maybe, but how come it's always the less desirable content scenes that get cut, not the least relevant for the story/movie scenes, seems to me those are the ones that can be most easily missed) but that doesn't happen in Belgium either....if a movie is 2h:10m (including commercial breaks), then the next show will start at 10:10, not 10]

    there's also no blurring of breasts, asses or pubic areas (if they're not being cut in US TV versions)

    Even though there's no rules against it and they wouldn't be fined, TV stations don't show (hard core) porn, not even late, or after midnight (the only hardcore porn on Belgian TV is to get a bundle of Movie channels, which you pay for, they show 1 porn every night, or used to)

    my point? two actually:

    1) good news: apparently, surprise surprise, an environment lacking a "moral authority" like the FCC likes to be, does not lead to (moralistic) Armageddon on TV or in society.
    2) bad news: moralists don't need the FCC, if they're so convinced their view is the majority view, by boycotting shows/networks they will be able to effectively censor TV anyway, or at least channels that target them as an audience...

    It could all be so simple: you don't like certain content: don't watch it, and ban it from your TV, there's plenty of ways to do this...
    tell your kids they're not allowed to watch it...(but hold on, if you're raising your kids "right", they shouldn't be interested anyway, because they should consider it indecent as well...and even if they're tempted, haven't you raised them "right", so that they wouldn't be disobedient?)
    or block objectionable content (from family tiers to the V-chip to controls on set-top boxes, or simply even the remote control).

    never use the "for the children" doctrine, we all know it's bogus, the real agenda is to force your standards/taste on everyone...and sadly, often it works (just look at that Canadian cell phone provider that was offering erotic content)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Emily, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 12:11pm

    TV Watch

    You raise some good points in your post. Here are some facts that you might find interesting. An overwhelming majority of Americans (91%) object to government deciding what they are able to watch on television. When activists talk about protecting children instead of parents—here’s what they’re talking about: sixty-eight percent of the country’s 110 million television-viewing households do not include children under age 18 and households with children have different challenges to face due to the varying ages of kids within each family. Currently, there are 11 million households with children age 6-11, 15 million households with children age 0-5 and 9 million households with children 12-17.

    TV has come a long way from the days of three channels and rabbit ears antennas. Today’s TV audiences are putting to use broadband, DVRs, TV video on demand, iPods and cell phones to greatly expand their choices about what, when, where and how to watch TV. New technology means consumers have more selection than ever and more control than ever over what they see on TV. We all have more choices and parents have more tools to ensure their kids only see what’s right for them. Let’s let parents decide—not government, for all of us.

    There is more information to be found at www.TelevisionWatch.org

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    B-Man, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 3:11pm

    Give me a la carte asap

    Am I missing something here? How is a la carte a BAD thing? The FCC isn't the problem, it's the cable companies who force me to pay an extra $35/month to get a premium package that includes 1 channel that I actually want (NFL network) and about 30 channels that I will never watch.

    The cable packages are one of the biggest ripoffs out there. When I go to Target to buy a trash can they don't also force me to buy the entire trash package that includes trash bags, air fresheners, and a compactor. AT&T doesn't force me to pay for voice mail and call waiting - I get to choose if I want those options. Yet it's perfectly fine for cable companies to force me to pay for dozens of channels that I don't have any interest in?

    And don't give me the crap about 'if you don't like it then just don't pay for it'. That argument doesn't work because there aren't any alternatives (aside from satellite providers, who are guilty of the same thing).

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Apr 27th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    Re: Give me a la carte asap

    "And don't give me the crap about 'if you don't like it then just don't pay for it'. That argument doesn't work because there aren't any alternatives (aside from satellite providers, who are guilty of the same thing)."
    -B-Man


    I see where you're coming from, but we're talking about censorship here, not bad business decisions. Don't make it sound like a-la-carte is some noble cause here. It's not your right to have Cable TV, it's your choice. I didn't like that a healthy version of cigarettes was never introduced (if you believe the stories that Big Tobacco had created one, but shelved it)... but you know what? I didn't bitch about it, I quit smoking.

    I will say "if you don't like it, then don't pay for it" because I don't have the false sense of entitlement that you seem to have. That argument does work when you realize that its not written anywhere "and thou shalt have cable tv to your liking".

    A business can offer their services in any way they want (as long as they don't violate laws in doing so). Like when Henry Ford announced his Model-T. He told people who asked: "Yes, you can have it in any color you want... as long as you want black".

    Now... let's all swing back to topic here.

     

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  59.  
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    Mike, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 10:53am

    Come On

    Let me watch what I want!

     

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  60.  
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    Claire Snyder, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 2:20am

    Dish TV Network

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Claire Snyder, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 2:26am

    Dish TV Network

    I surely did not have any idea when I "bundled" services to include Dish that I would receive first morning an advertisement of movie prevues (one quarter of tv screen) depicting parts of movies that Dish Network designated itself as "Hardcore Porn" It has been almost impossible to rid my household of this nastiness. After four calls and many changes I believed it was finally gone. Then went into my bedroom to rest and watch second tv, and there is was again. Although we have only one black box (DVR) which is in the living room, apparently I:"ll have to make all 4 calls again.

    PEOPLE, YOU NEED TO BE PARTICULAR WHAT YOU ALLOW INTO YOUR BRAIN. FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, THIS STUFF IS AS ADDICTIVE AS COCAINE, SOME STAY UP ALL NIGHT TO WATCH, GETTING NO REST. GIVE UP THEIR WHOLE LIFE JUST TO SEE NAKED BABES. AS ONE WHO HAS CHANGED MANY MESSY DIAPERS, THE LAST THING IN THIS WHOLE WORLD I WOULD TO SEE AGAIN IS SOMEONE'S BOTTOM.

    THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU ARE HOOKED, MEN AND GO LOOK AT YOUR WIFE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Claire Snyder, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 2:28am

    Dish TV Network

    I surely did not have any idea when I "bundled" services to include Dish that I would receive first morning an advertisement of movie prevues (one quarter of tv screen) depicting parts of movies that Dish Network designated itself as "Hardcore Porn" It has been almost impossible to rid my household of this nastiness. After four calls and many changes I believed it was finally gone. Then went into my bedroom to rest and watch second tv, and there is was again. Although we have only one black box (DVR) which is in the living room, apparently I:"ll have to make all 4 calls again.

    PEOPLE, YOU NEED TO BE PARTICULAR WHAT YOU ALLOW INTO YOUR BRAIN. FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, THIS STUFF IS AS ADDICTIVE AS COCAINE, SOME STAY UP ALL NIGHT TO WATCH, GETTING NO REST. GIVE UP THEIR WHOLE LIFE JUST TO SEE NAKED BABES. AS ONE WHO HAS CHANGED MANY MESSY DIAPERS, THE LAST THING IN THIS WHOLE WORLD I WOULD TO SEE AGAIN IS SOMEONE'S BOTTOM.

    THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU ARE HOOKED, MEN AND GO LOOK AT YOUR WIFE. DON'T MAKE ME WATCH PORN. I DID NOT ORDER IT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Your mom, Jan 13th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    you have some common sense!!!!!!!!

    What the hell are you talking about? What do you mean "who cares about the children?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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