They Know What's Good for You

From the amazingly persistent Jeff Chester, we get a look at the stupid decisions the FCC and top-down politicians are trying to make on our behalf.

An upcoming FCC report recommending steps that Congress can take to regulate television violence has sharply divided the agency's five members....

Shortly after the FCC report's release, Sen. John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., plans to reintroduce legislation that would expand the FCC's "indecency" regulations to pay TV and allow the agency to restrict violent fare on broadcast, cable and satellite.

Rockefeller is expected to ask Senate Commerce Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, for a hearing and a vote on his bill. Rockefeller is a senior member of the Commerce panel.

Inouye's office declined to comment, but several sources characterized the Hawaiian as "moderate" on the issues.

A television industry source predicted that, even if the FCC approves the report 3-2, Rockefeller's bill would easily pass the chamber because "no one's going to oppose violence [legislation]."

I oppose legislation restricting free speech, and so do most bloggers.  It's why we do our work on the internets, because the architecture of broadcast lends itself to this kind of nonsense.  Top-downers like Rockefeller and the Senate majority that will pass bills restricting speech through cable and satellite just do this instinctively.  Of course, broadcasters are just as bad, they just think that private top-downers should have the right to censor content on broadcast instead of government-appointed regulators.

As the mass media system declines of its own stupidity, more Americans are going to do their cultural and political work online.  For many of us, there's just no reason to use the old architecture to communicate.  It's very powerful and very rich, but it's run by morons and regulated by crotchety conservatives who pander to the right's manipulation of American status anxiety.

I bet Howard Stern isn't happy.

Tags: Internet, net neutrality (all tags)

Comments

21 Comments

Re: They Know What's Good for You

Broadcast is one thing, but regulating content on cable and satellite? I highly doubt this would survive in the courts.

Although this new move is in line with the increasingly draconian over the last six years, it's the Democrats actually pushing the legislation this time. Surely progressives would have good standing to oppose this?

by Silent sound 2007-03-28 12:06PM | 0 recs
...er

Although this new move is in line with the increasingly draconian over the last six years,

Should read "increasingly draconian FCC policies over the last six years"

by Silent sound 2007-03-28 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You

Yeah, I don't see how this could be legal.  

Also, Howard will be upset, but not as upset as he would be if they were focusing on dirty talk and not violence.  

Democrats always push anti-violence censorship bills.  Its seems to be their go-to when they need to appease the censorship lobby of over concerned parents and anti-gun crusaders.  

The Republicans are more into censoring dirty talk and letting the violence go on unabated.

by andy k 2007-03-28 12:14PM | 0 recs
Yeah, pretty much

We have the pro-sex anti-violence party and the anti-sex pro-violence party...

by Silent sound 2007-03-28 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, pretty much

When in truth it isn't the governments place to do this... bunch of Pandering pieces of crap.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-28 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You

Hey if they want to force cable companies to offer a la carte options, then I'm cool with that... make the V-chip or parental controls mandatory on Digital Cable boxes... sure... Force Offering of Opt out on channels, that's cool too...

This is absolute BS.

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-28 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You

I highly doubt this would survive in the courts.

Well, Rockefeller acknowledges this.  From the link:

Nevertheless, Rockefeller faces what even his supporters acknowledge are substantial constitutional hurdles, given that subscription television does not use the public airwaves and that defining excessive violence is largely subjective.

This is of course attractive as hell, Democrats trying to pass legislation they know is unconstitutional.  Fucker.

by antidoto 2007-03-28 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You
Hey FCC. I got something you can censor right here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U682v_YpE Ns
by diggperson 2007-03-28 12:07PM | 0 recs
well

It will save the DVD industry from pay-per-view.

by John DE 2007-03-28 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You

WTF?  WHY WHY WHY?  Hey, I can understand it on broadcast since the government technically owns those airwaves and since they screwed the consumer by practically giving them away, they might as well screw us sme more.

BUT on PAY TV?  HBO?  SHOWTIME?  CHannels I pay extra for just so I don't have to deal with commercials and the FCC bullshit?  WTF?  If Bush is for an ownership society, then where is the PUSH by Bush for parents to actually take responsibility for parenting their kids.  That's why cable and satellite boxes have parental controls to restrict what your kids watch... that's why TVs have V-Chips... THAT'S WHY YOU PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KIDS AND DON'T LET THE TV BE A BABYSITTER.  With all the tools available, this is absolutely pointless and pure pandering by Rockefeller... I don't know if its possible, BUT HE NEEDS A PRIMARY CHALLENGE next go around.

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-28 12:20PM | 0 recs
Senator Jay Rockefeller voted for the Iraq War

...Authorization.

He has blood on his hands.

But he thinks he's so much better than ordinary people, that he can tell us we can't watch fake violence on TV.  Just the real violence he helped cause.

by EricJaffa 2007-03-28 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You

Hey Remember, that one time... at band camp... when HRC decided that free speech wasn't that important and joined forces with Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum to institute faschist levels of control over content that WASN'T broadcast over public airwaves...  

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articl e/0,9171,1039700-6,00.html

Yet another reason to vote against her.  She supported Iraq until she knew it wasn't possible to get elected President if she continued her support, then she said she didn't support it... she refuses to apologize for her war vote... She has teamed with far right wing pieces of shit to pander to conservatives trying to restrict free speech on media including TV and video games.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-28 12:58PM | 0 recs
All that linked page says about Hillary Clinton

...is that she supported a "federal study."

by EricJaffa 2007-03-28 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: No

Read a little more thoroughly...

"Meanwhile, earlier this month, Clinton took the stage with Santorum and Brownback to decry indecency in pop culture and call for a federal study of its effect on children."

Its halfway down the page... She took the stage with them to promote destroying the first amendment... I have BIG problems with that.

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-28 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You

It's a good thing that the last half season of the Sopranos is coming out now before these creeps get their hands on it.  It's an adult show and gets great ratings.  Violence from Tony?  Yup.  

Where is the establishment on this?  Time, that great Republican monger has made a ton of money from HBo and specifically vioent content.  

by David Kowalski 2007-03-28 01:17PM | 0 recs
This has nothing to do with net neutrality

To say this is akin to a net neutrality fight, is like saying that a magazine who won't run an article about darfur, is the same thing as a public TV station not running a frontline special on the same thing. Two totally different mediums.

by heyAnita 2007-03-28 01:34PM | 0 recs
Having lived in Hawaii for 20 years

there's no way Inouye would support that. He's not right on all the issues (like Anwar drilling ...) but he's not for increased censorship either.

by okamichan13 2007-03-28 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: They Know What's Good for You
This is gun control legislation for the GTA generation, but without the evidence it'd actually do anything to cut real-world violence.
by Englishlefty 2007-03-28 02:56PM | 0 recs
And In This Case They're Right

Look, I'm a big believer in free-speech as well, but I would contrast the freedom of ideas with the "freedom" to proliferate blood-spurting gore and sadism. It would be hard to convince me that a constant stream of movies such as SAW don't have a collective, deletrious impact on society. Garbage in; gargabe out.

I could understand the portrayal of violence in the context of defining ideas, but all the same, Lawrence of Arabia and The Sand Pebbles are powerful movies in their own right, and there is nothing gratuitous in either of them.

Why then is graphic violence necessary, either to communicate an idea, or as a form of...what, self expression?

by Zach in Phoenix 2007-03-28 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: And In This Case They're Right

Then don't watch them... that is your right.

You might not think it is necessary... I do, for certain movies and television shows and video games as the realism is part of the art.  Our standards are different and for the most part every other persons are too.

It isn't your right or the government's right to tell me what I can and can not watch.  It's up to me to decide... I agree with forcing the cable companies to offer a la carte or to offer the ability to scramble channels they don't want or to offer a family package like Dish Network already does.  But no one should monkey with content that isn't broadcast over the airwaves owned by the people.  When its over satellite or cable, they are violating free speech.

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-28 04:35PM | 0 recs
Apple will be ecstatic

Stupid moves like this from Congress will just push content from Cable to the Internet.  Apple (and a host of other companies of course) are already letting you download shows to view on your TV.  It will be easy to provide "premium" content via iTunes or other services in companion with the Cable shows if this happens.

by tomanjeri 2007-03-28 07:53PM | 0 recs

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