Monday, February 26, 2007

FCC wants more

This is going to get ugly.

From the very beginning the FCC exercised power over content. On one side they claim they do not want and in fact, have no regulatory authority over programming i.e music and political talk. On the other side they claim they dont like bad words. But until recently violence of all kinds was okie-dokie on TV. Comedians have mocked the double standard for decades and apparently they just noticed.

At the FCC a report is being circulated that says Congress can change that, without violating the First Amendment. The report says that Congress can craft a law allowing the FCC to regulate violent programming the same irational and uneven way they regulate sexual content and profanity. i.e. in the name of protecting children from reality.

Bush apointees, Kevin Martin, and Micheal Copps gave an interview about this to The Associated Press last week. Martin suggested several options, including creating a "family-friendly" tier of channels that would offer shows suitable for kids. To make this crap appealing he also suggested that cable and satellite providers should let consumers pay for channels "a la carte" Not a new idea, but a system that terrifies cable providers, and big networks but consumers love. Since they have money and we don't, know now that this is bait & switch.

The report cites multiple studies that link violent programming can lead to aggressive behavior in children. remember... they're coming for your videogames next. The report pissed off every sane person that heard a word of it including the broadcast networks, the cable industries, First Amendment advocates most mammals and even some coma patients.

CNN reported that three years ago a group of House Representatives requested the report. It's focus being a discussion of whether the FCC could define violent programming to distinguish what is harmful to children. It also asked whether the agency could regulate such programming "in a constitutional manner."

In the past broadcasters and cable companies have held the position that parents should take responsibility for what their children watch and take advantage of blocking technology, like the V-chip. Legislation in the past has operated with the assumption that censorship is bad idea. Most people voters have agreed with this because it's one of the pillars of our representative democracy. While we may care about freedom most when it effects us directly, in this case it is mutually beneficial.

If you want to stop them call them at work:
Kevin Martin - 202-418-1000
Michael Copps - 202-418-2000
Deborah Taylor Tate - 202-418-2500
Jonathan Adelstein - 202-418-2300
Robert McDowell - 202-418-2200