Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free speech on tv

I don't often find political topics on Pajiba, one of my favorite sites. But they have a post up today making the argument that the FCC shouldn't regulate what is said or shown on tv.

The Internet is free market. I have the First Amendment right to say anything I want in the language that I prefer, but advertisers have every right not to advertise on our pages, and readers have the same right to read Yahoo News, instead, where you’re less likely to run across a string of profanities or threats upon your life.

But you know who doesn’t have that right? Broadcast networks. Instead of allowing advertisers and viewers to decide what programs and what channels to watch or advertise on based on content and language, the FCC has prohibits the use of certain words or certain levels of sex and violence during certain times of the day, and this despite the fact that cable programming — which goes unregulated by the FCC — is allowed to air what it wants, when it wants.

But it doesn’t. Because the cablers are smart enough to know that kids may be watching in the afternoon, and airing sex and profanity at 4p.m. would likely get them in trouble, lose them viewers, and cost them advertisers. The bottom line rules all.

That sounds right. HBO, Cinemax, and the like have been showing sex, violence, and profanity for decades now and our virtuous culture is still hanging on by a thread. The same is true for the internet, but it's even more available to our impressionable youth than tv. And yet our society goes on. So I think the FCC is mostly a waste. If you want to say 'fuck' or show some tits and dicks on your show you should be able to. As Dustin says, revenue will dictate that not many shows will do so and all you people who don't like profanity or nudity will probably not have to see it. But even if you do, just change the channel.

How will the Supreme Court come down on this? I dunno: You’d imagine that the conservatives would come down on the side of less regulation, and that the liberals would come down on the side of free speech. It should be a no brainer.

Ideologically he is correct. You can easily see Ron Paul siding against the FCC, which would be the proper conservative policy. But conservatives don't care about the free speech aspect here because they are so infused with Christianist ideas that they can't come off as supporting fucking and bewbs and cocks. They have to keep this idea going that they support 'family values', despite the fact that doing so in this case goes against conservative principles of a free market economy.

Liberals don't care so much about the free market when it comes to the economy because problems arise when left unchecked. But in this case there are no problems with letting tv companies regulate themselves. They already do to some extent. So when you combine the free speech aspect to this case liberals should have no problems opposing the FCC. Not to mention that both liberals and conservatives should also be very opposed to the internet legislation that is trying to make its way out of congress.

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