Worse and worse

Worse and worse
: Zell Miller keeps getting wackier and wackier. An alleged Democrat, he has endorsed George Bush and a constitutional amendment on marriage. And now Ernie Miller warns us that Zell (no relation) is introducing legislation to create a Council of Decency with three ministers (that’s ministers, not rabbis, by the way), three teachers, and three media people who tell the FCC what’s decent and what’s not. He’d fine artists, producers, and networks for whatever this august bunch calls indecent and he’d increase the fine to a quarter for every person who sees and is presumably corrupted by media crud (Janet Jackson et al would have paid $35 million). But it keeps getting better and better: He’s hand the fines over to faith-based organizations. Yup, and he sounds stupid, too:

Make no mistake about it. This is a tough bill, and it

  • http://www.woogieworld.org Brian

    Isn’t Zell a dead-man walking anyway? I don’t think he’s running for re-election. Wouldn’t be surprised if he starts proposing that Michael Powell needs to start wearing nipple clamps and dancing the nasty with Justin Timberlake…

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    See, Jeff, that’s why I was arguing the other day against identifying the problem with “right wing Republicans”. Most of the people who are being asses about this aren’t Republicans at all (eg, Zell Miller), and a whole lot of the people who are against radical new regulations aren’t Democrats. Make it into a party-line issue and you’re just not directing your fire effectively.
    In the mean time, though, this scheme has the advantage that it’s glaringly unconstitutional is about four ways I can think of, and it’s late and I’ve had a couple of drinks. Someone who was wide awake and sober could probably think of four more. his should be a ssignificant impediment.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Charlie: Not arguing with you on your point of the other day but… I’d call Zell a right-wing Republican these days….

  • syn

    So, it is okay for the entertainment industry to have total control over what we say, what we see, what we hear, do and think? And, profit from it!
    Jeff, I am not a right-winger but an actress living in New York and I know from personal experience that the entertainment industry has nothing to do with free expression or artistry.
    It is all about creating a mold as to how we should think, look, and act. I call that collectivism!
    I have friends who are musicians and they experience the same restrictions held by the controlling entertainment industry. Try getting your music out if you do not fit the industry mold.
    I have friends who are screenwriters and they experience the same restrictions held by the industry. Try getting your screenplay produced if it does not fit the industry mold.
    I do not understand how you can defend an industry which has so much control over our lives and whose only concern is making money by creating the mold of what and how people should be!
    The argument that people can simply ‘turn the channel’ is irrelevant since the monopolizing industry already controls all content before it even reaches the public.

  • Steve Teeter

    Syn, you seem upset, and from what you say you have a right to be. And I expect Jeff is as fully aware of the flaws of the industry as you are.
    But they’re in business to make money. They are not in business to direct our morals or control our thoughts. That they try to do so anyway is just because it’s easier for them to make piles of money if they can influence the public to want precisely what the industry is prepared to provide. As long as it’s working, yes, the bosses will tell their underlings to stick with the formula or else.
    But this proposed Council of Decency WOULD be out to direct our morals and control our thoughts, with all the coercive power of government behind it. Given those options, I’ll stick with the industry. Honest greed is a lot easier to deal with than the sanctimonious arrogance of the True Believer

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    But Jeff, that’s the point: Zell’s not a right wing Republican, he’s a right-wing Democrat. Or, rather, he’s a Democrat with authoritarian leanings. So’s Dingell, in many things. Ashcroft seems to lean to the authoritarian in the Republican Party. Jerry Nadler seems to fall into that when I hear him on CSPAN.
    On the other hand, Bush, Cheney, Mike Powell (and his dad) and a lot of other Republicans don’t seem to have those authoritarian leanings nearly as much. Neither does Barney Frank.
    But those authoritarian notions are very common in the population, too — that’s why we’ve got a Bill of Rights — and when they get inflamed, the politicians have to respond.
    The point is that it’s this crypto-authoritarian impulse that has to be fought, and ought to be fought in both parties.
    (I’d listen to argument that it’s really “communitarian” vs “individualistic”, also.)