Safest common denominator

Bob Wrightdefends the First Amendment against the FCC in the Wall Street Journal:

So an FCC policy intent on ensuring that there will be nothing on broadcast TV that is inappropriate for kids during certain hours is doomed to failure. Do the math: 85% of households have cable and satellite, leaving 15% receiving broadcast TV only. Two-thirds of those households do not have kids under 18. Thus, the FCC appears to be basing its actions on a policy that is relevant to 5% of households. Moreover, government efforts to regulate content are invariably riddled with unfortunate consequences.

For example, breaking with established precedent, the FCC recently found a live network news program to be “indecent” because a single expletive was unexpectedly uttered by someone being interviewed by a reporter. What public interest is served when news organizations, unwilling to take the risk of incurring a fine, stop interviewing individuals live on camera — or air all newscasts only after being cleared by a language censor? . . .

  • Paw

    Jeff-

    I believe the editorial you linked to is by Bob Wright, not Jack Welch.

  • chico haas

    “Thus, the FCC appears to be basing its actions on a policy that is relevant to 5% of households.”

    This is democracy, American-style.

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

    paw,
    thanks! i’m humiliated, as well i should be. i have to stop rushing posts in the two minutes between meetings.

  • Vulgorilla

    “or air all newscasts only after being cleared by a language censor? . . .”

    So once the lone 5% learn about this, how many will opt for the Weather Channel rather than a network news program? Most I suspect …