: Just when you think this indecency fetish in Washington can’t get sicker, another legislator with a stick up his ass opens his mouth (and the stick protrudes):
The chairman of one of the entertainment industry’s most important congressional committees says he wants to take the enforcement of broadcast decency standards into the realm of criminal prosecution.
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner III, R-Wis., told cable industry executives attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. conference here on Monday that criminal prosecution would be a more efficient way to enforce the indecency regulations.
“I’d prefer using the criminal process rather than the regulatory process,” Sensenbrenner told the executives.
The current system — in which the FCC fines a licensee for violating the regulations — casts too wide a net, he said, trapping those who are attempting to reign in smut on TV and those who are not.
“People who are in flagrant disregard should face a criminal process rather than a regulator process,” Sensenbrenner said. “That is the way to go. Aim the cannon specifically at the people committing the offenses, rather than the blunderbuss approach that gets the good actors.
“The people who are trying to do the right thing end up being penalized the same way as the people who are doing the wrong thing.”
At last week’s Freedom to Connect, when I interviewed First Amendment attorney Bob Corn-Revere, he reminded the crowd that indecency is already a criminal matter; it’s not enforced that way. Now someone wants to.
Say, if I were on TV — and soon, if some have their way, on cable or satellite… or the internet — I could not only be fined up to $3 million a day under new legislation if I said “fuck Sensenbrenner,” he would now have me go to jail.
Well, fuck Sensenbrenner.