Thursday, January 12, 2012

Justice Roberts' tv guide

From the FCC case:

Roberts jumps in to add, “People who want to expose their children to broadcasts where these words are used, there are 800 channels where they can go for that. All we are asking for ...” he stops himself. ”What the government is asking for, is a few channels where you can say they are not going to hear the S-word, the F-word. They are not going to see nudity.”

What kind of cable provider does he have? I can probably list the number of channels where I can hear the word fuck or actually see some fucking on both hands. Roberts, or the gov't, has more than enough channels where kids won't hear the words shit and fuck or see nudity. Those channels make up the vast majority of channels on tv. The gov't is already getting what it is in court arguing for.

I'm glad to see Justice Ginsburg address the contradiction in FCC policy regarding showing violence. I think it's much more damaging for kids to see violence, someone being shot or beat up, than it is for them to hear someone say fuck or to see a naked ass on tv. A lot of profanity is adjectives or adverbs that are meant to express heightened emotion. And nudity is completely natural. Neither of those things can harm a kid. But seeing violence could potentially harm them psychologically.

That's not to say I would support censoring violence on tv (only in certain circumstances). It's just to point out the contradiction in gov't policy and the fact that the policy really isn't protecting anyone from anything. This is really just about some people and the gov't imposing their morals on the rest of us. And like I said in my post yesterday, the market would probably take care of things for those uber-sensitive people who would be "offended" by profanity and nudity. But I'm not holding out hope that the supreme court will find that free speech means that people will inevitably be offended not matter how many channels are set aside for "non-offensive" content. I mean, otherwise, why can't I get the FCC to regulate Jersey Shore and half the shit on tv?

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