They Know What's Good for You
by Matt Stoller, Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 11:51:23 AM EDT
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.