FCC's Martin Hates Regulation, Except When It Suits Him Politically

from the seven-hundred-thousand-dirty-words dept

It's sort of funny how when it comes to things like net neutrality and line sharing, Kevin Martin and his cohorts at the FCC keep their hands out and spout a less-regulation-is-better-regulation mantra, but when it comes to things like wiretapping and "indecent" broadcasting, they've got no problem using the heavy hand of regulation to intervene. But Martin's attempt at regulating morality by doling out record fines to broadcasters looks like it could backfire, as TV networks are fighting back in court. They've got two main arguments: first, that the FCC is toeing the line of the First Amendment, and second, that the decency standards are so arbitrarily and inconsistently applied that the FCC is overstepping its authority. It's that inconsistency argument that many legal observers say could pose the biggest problem for the FCC, which defends itself by saying it's only reacting to viewer complaints. It fails to note, however, that the vast majority of those complaints are computer-generated form letters and emails from "family-friendly" pressure groups, whose involvement lead to a 67,394% increase in the number of complaints received by the FCC between 2001 and 2005. The bigger question, though, is who's selling all these easily offended people televisions that can't change channels or be turned off?
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
    Stuart Friedman, 22 May 2006 @ 5:54am

    FCC Chair Martin

    Of all the the political appointments that George Bush made, my two favorites were both named "Powell." Unfortunately, they seemed to have both been given the golden boot.

    With respect to the current chairman of the FCC, I suggest that you follow the money rather than the morality. That seems to explain alot more.

    Stu

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

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

Loading...
Recent Stories

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

Email This

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