Posts from November 17, 2004

Or just “I”

Or just “I”

: Cory Bergman in Lost Remote says:

CBS Chairman Les Moonves at the B&C Hall of Fame party in NY:
“I remember when the magazine was called Broadcasting. Then it was Broadcasting & Cable. Now it’s just B&C. I just hope 10 years from now, it’s not called C.”

Or C&I, as in Cable & Internet. (Quote from this week’s B&C magazine).

Waiting

Waiting

: I’m waiting to go on Aaron Brown’s show and I’m killing time in the very cool Samsung showroom in the new Time Warner center, blogging, getting gadget envy…. Saw Kinsey, most appropriate for the discussion tonight…. See you on the other side….

TV of the people, by the people, for the people

TV of the people, by the people, for the people

: Glenn Reynolds takes off on the explosion of TV to say something more fundamental about news:

Journalism isn’t a profession, but an activity. And it’s an activity that technology is putting within the reach of many more Americans. That’s bad news if you’re Dan Rather, but it’s good news for the rest of us.

Butt out, Michael Powell!

Butt out, Michael Powell!

: Arrrrggghhh.

Michael Powell, chief censor, opens his yap about the lame Desperate Housewives promo on Monday Night Football that — mind you — showed nothing more risque than a woman’s back. He said:

“First of all, as a legal matter, whether it’s a problem is yet to be determined. We only respond to complaints and evaluate them fairly and make a decision,” Powell said in an interview with CNBC.

“But I think it’s very disappointing. I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud,” Powell added.

Nowhere in the Constitution or in the charter of the FCC does it say there should be a role for a Chief Federal Entertainment Critic. Who gives a damn if you think it’s disappointing? Who gives a damn what you think a corpse would think about this?

This reveals exactly what is wrong here: Powell thinks he has a role in dictating what content — that is, speech — should be allowed in this country.

Reread the Constitution, will you, Michael? It’s none of your damned business.

Citizens take over the FCC: A conference (or at least a lunch)

Citizens take over the FCC: A conference (or at least a lunch)

: Here’s a conference I’d love to attend:

Citizens take over the FCC. All the constituencies who have problems with the FCC controlling what it shouldn’t control come together for a day and leave with a manifesto for change in the agency that oversees, regulates, and holds back the asset that belongs to all of us: spectrum.

Susan Crawford, David Isenberg, Om Malik, Kevin Werbach — and who else — know all about the technical and regulatory sides.

I’d take on censorship and free speech.

Susan Crawford put together a great conference on the FCC in New York a few weeks ago. It was way over my head, I’ll confess. It didn’t deal with the free speech issues. And its aim was different; it created dialogue with the FCC and that’s a good thing. David Isenberg has had some great gatherings that I unfortunately missed; they were, as I remember, more about freeing the network. Kevin Werbach has run big conferences in Supernova that explore various issues. So maybe I’m just late to the party.

But I see something that is, I think, simpler and, as a result, more radical:

Let’s look at what would happen if we abolished the FCC. What regulation, if anything, would we need instead? How are the FCC and Congress hurting development? We, the people, tell the FCC — and Congress — that spectrum is ours and we want to see it developed freely. We take control. We reset the starting point for the discussion.

: Well, fancy that: Just as I finished writing this post, I saw that Steve Verdon at Outside the Beltway also calls for abolishing the FCC (though he concentrates on free speech, not on the spectrum, network, and technology issues) . It’s a friggin groundswell. It’s a movement.

Indecent indecency on hold

Indecent indecency on hold

: The indecent indecency bill won’t hit the floor again until January.

Media on media on media

Media on media on media

: I’m supposed to be on Aaron Brown’s show on CNN to talk about the backlash to the backlash to Nipplegate.

: I was on Kevin & Bean‘s show on KROQ this morning. The producer gingerly tried to suggest I shouldn’t talk about Howard Stern before the interview. I said I would not agree to that and if you get me, you get Howard. It’s not just loyalty to Stern; Stern is at the heart of this free speech story and I always make the point that we must defend Stern to defend the First Amendment (and not wait until the prigs and prudes and bureaucrats go after “Saving Private Ryan”). To their credit, they went ahead. And it was a good discussion. These guys have been on this issue, too. See this page on their site telling you how to make your reasonable voice heard.

: Also was on Paul Harris’ show on KMOX yesterday and I really like this guy. He’s a blogger and a broadcaster. He put up audio snippets here.

: And I’m supposed to be on the next On The Media.

: Sick of me yet?

Don’t answer that.

Free

Free

: I had stopped reading the Times of London once they started charging. But Andrew Sullivan says that — thanks in part to his lobbying — they’ve taken off the tollbooth and we can once again read one of the world’s fine newspapers for free. Thank you, Times.