Senator Misunderstands Purpose Of The FCC

from the regulatory-creep dept

The FCC is supposed to regulate public airwaves used for communications purposes. The point was that this was a shared resource owned by everyone, and the purpose of the FCC was so that it wasn't misused. With that in mind, you can make an argument as to why the FCC should have some say over whether broadcast TV is used for "indecency" -- though, for many of us the whole issue seems sort of silly. The basic argument is that indecency can be seen as a misuse of the airwaves, thus putting it under the thumb of the FCC. However, it appears that some politicians are confusing issues here, assuming that the FCC has some mandate over indecency, rather than over the airwaves. Thus, we get stories about a Senator complaining that because he sees more of what he considers indecent on cable, the FCC should regulate indecency on cable as well. When told that this is outside of the FCC mandate, his response is that he disagrees "violently." Personally, public violence against those who disagree with you seems a lot more "indecent" than what people want to watch in the privacy of their own homes. His only argument really seems to be that he finds cable TV (and satellite radio) not to his liking. The Senator should realize there's a simple solution to all of this: don't buy cable TV or satellite radio. Or, if you still want it, just watch the channels that you don't consider indecent. Problem solved, without having to trouble everyone who does want cable TV and satellite radio.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 1 Mar 2005 @ 2:26pm

    Its all about baby-sitting

    With indecency on the public airwaves, there isn't much you can do to "protect the children" short of taking away their TVs and radios, which also deprives the child of all the wonderful educational television that is available. The FCC can (and does) step in and set limits on what is allowable and when.

    With subscription services, there is no way for a child to accidentally be exposed to indecent material unless the parents are negligent. It's very easy to block almost any channel on either a cable TV or satellite TV system and control what the children have access to and when. These systems exist now and are voluntary and most intelligent parents appreciate them and use them.

    Then you run into the parents who don't want to accept responsibility for the way their children turn out, who don't want to have to learn how to "program that technical gobblety-gook" and filter out inappropriate material - it's up to the government to take care of these things!

    After all, the government (i.e., FCC) has been protecting me, my parents and grandparents from the smut and filth that's running amok these days for generations, why shouldn't they be responsible for protecting us from the kind of stuff that we specifically requested and pay a premium fee to see/hear each and every month!?!?

    It seems to me that the government in general is trying to assume responsibility or control everything in this country that might possibly offend someone else - and personally, I find that offensive. :-)

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.