The Parents Television Council loses
: The FCC just rejected 36 complaints by the so-called Parents Television Council.
I have a theory that the people in the FCC — including even lame prude Michael Powell — are secretly embarrassed that they have turned themselves into the nation’s chief prigs and mouth-washers, that they have kneecapped the First Amendment, and that their tenure will be marked in history for the stupidity of following along with what they thought was a political movement but turned out to be only a few religious nutjobs with no lives. But that’s just a theory. If it were true, it would explain how the FCC decided to reject these 36 PTC complaints just as Michael Powell ducks out of office.
Note, however, that they still have not ruled on Oprah Winfrey saying exactly what got Howard Stern an indecency violation.
In the first set of rulings, the FCC seems to bravely decides that “dick” in various forms is OK. Ditto ass, penis, vaginal, nutsack, and a three-way. In the second set, they add the words hell and damn — as if they were ever in contention as indecent and blaspamous — as well as breast, nipples, can, pissed, crap, bastard, and bitch. It’s the liberalization of America, I tell you, it’s the second damned sexual revolution!
Woops, not so fast Jarvis, put away the tie-dyes and scented oils. The FCC explains:
A number of complaints cite isolated uses of the word
A man with many hats
: A week ago, Kos was arguing that he shouldn’t be held to journalistic standards because he’s an activist. But Chris Nolan spotted him wearing press credentials at a political event. Which is it?
Grading on the Bell curve
: The Wall Street Journal has one of those online polls — no wagering, please, this is only for entertainment — asking readers to grade Michael Powell’s tenure as FCC chairman. Of the 4k+ voting so far: 17% A, 17% B, 13% C, 19% D, 34 % F. You can guess how I voted.
Freedom to Connect (read: After the FCC)
kickass conference in Washington on March 30-31 about the future of networks: technology, regulation, spectrum, freedom of speech. He calls it Freedom to Connect. A short while before he put together the conference, I suggested the need for a conference about life After the FCC. He said let’s put them together. The writeup says:
The future of telecommunications starts now; there’s a new U.S. Telecom Act in the works, there’s unbundling in Europe, fast fiber in Asia, wireless across Africa and networks a-building in cities and villages around the world. Lead the discussion. Shape the debate. Assert your Freedom to Connect.
The need to communicate is primary, like the need to breathe, eat, sleep, reproduce, socialize and learn….
Freedom to Connect belongs with Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Assembly. Each of these freedoms is related to the others and depends on the others, but stands distinct. Freedom to Connect, too, depends on the other four but carries its own meaning. Unlike the others, it does not yet have a body of law and practice surrounding it. There is no Digital Bill of Rights. Freedom to Connect is the place to start….
Speakers and panelists include Vint Cerf, David Weinberger, Susan Crawford, and more. Sign up.
Citizens’ media, citizens’ movement in Iraq
: Iraq the Model announces the start of the Friends of Democracy web site with reporting from citizen journalists in Iraq in English and Arabic (using the Arabic-language blogging tool underwritten, with your help, by Spirit of America). Go read reports from the street, from Iraqis.
At the same time Spirit of America plans to highlight their coverage of the electino next Sunday with an event in Washington; details here. The event will be webcast for two hours starting at 2p ET on Sunday. I can’t wait to compare the coverage we find there with the coverage we find on our media.