Thursday, February 10, 2005

V-Chip, Biatches... 

Short version: another asshat in Congress has decided that all the evils of the world come from indecency on broadcast media, and there's a bill in the works (all but a done deal now) to hike the fines to half a mill a pop. You can read about it here, but beyond the stupidity and abundant paradox of Congress somehow not getting that the First Amendment applies to the FCC as well, there's one more thing this schmuck, Joe Barton (R-Texas) wants to do.

Read carefully.

He wants to extend FCC control over "indecency" to pay services -- cable, satellite TV and radio.

Let me say that again.

Joe Barton wants to censor private, for-pay, non-broadcast services. Joe Barton wants to control what you're even allowed to see in your home, all in the name of preserving "decency".

Well, Joey, fuck your decency. It should be up to the viewers and consumers to decide. See, there's this wonderful little invention called the V-Chip that, if lazy parents bothered to use it, would eliminate 99% of the complaints over so-called indecency. That and the TV ratings system should be more than enough so that parents and people with squeamish sensibilities (like elected officials from Texas) can either protect their children or shove their heads up their asses in an Ostrich-like manner and not see grown-up content. And it should leave the rest of us free to see what we want to, when we want to and where.

What really angers me the most is that a blithering shithead like Barton is even able to bring this sort of crap to serious consideration without more elected reps growing some balls and telling him to shove it. The government has no place in regulating broadcast content. Conversely, the type of content that should be regulated (partisan distortions on alleged newscasts, for example) is blithely ignored.

Real indecency has nothing to do with profanity or Janet Jackson's booby. Real indecency is misguided legislators trying to sanitize the real world for the consumption of five year olds, to the detriment of all.

Under Barton's proposal, anyone who says or does something indecent on broadcast TV would be subject to a $500,000 fine, along with the station carrying it. But the definition of indecency is entirely in the hands of the FCC.

And he wants to extend this to non-broadcast, pay media. No doubt, he'd also love to extend it to the Internet as well.

Call your representatives. Tell them you oppose this unnecessary measure. And give Barton a call or a letter as well. He's the moron behind this, and his office numbers are 202.225.2002 in DC and 817.543.1000 in Arlington, Texas; fax him at 202.225.3052 or 817.548.7029.

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