Posts from January 28, 2005

Copps the cop speaks… oh, no

Copps the cop speaks… oh, no

: The most frightening FCC commissioner, Democrat Michael Copps, speaks to TV execs at the NATPE conference. The man is clueless about the state of media — all media, including the internet; he doesn’t understand the real dynamics of the media business today; he’s the most eager kneecapper of the First Amendment. A few choice remarks:

…I know that a lot of you in

this audience share my concern about the media track we

FCC applies supply and demand to freedom

FCC applies supply and demand to freedom

: Ernie Miller passes on the news that the FCC is raising its rates for Freedom of Information Requests. Guess they’ve had a lot of them, eh?

: When you think about it, the web should make FOIA obsolete: The goverment should put all its documents up online for all to see. It is our government, after all. That’s real freedom of information.

When the F word was OK

When the F word was OK

: Coz digs into the past to find that Bono’s profane and illegal F word was not the first time he’d uttered it on TV. At the 1994 Grammys:

U2, a band that had been around nearly 15 years in 1994, won the Best Alternative Rock award for their Zooropa album, and frontman Bono accepted it with heavy irony.

“Yeah, alternative all right,” he said. “We shall continue to abuse our position and f— up the mainstream. God bless you.”

Did life and society and morality all suddenly change just because Janet Jackson kinda exposed her breast? Apparently so.

Sponge Michael, SquarePants

Sponge Michael, SquarePants

: Timothy Karr at MediaCitizen reveals the unholy alliance of Michael Powell and SpongeBob — and the coverup.

Bush: As confused as everybody else on indecency

Bush: As confused as everybody else on indecency

: On the one hand, George Bush defends the First Amendment in an interview on C-SPAN this weekend. But then he seems to realize that he has just painted himself in the corner, so he turns around and defends Michael Powell, too. Such is life on the slipperly slope.

But note that George Bush does say that the first and best reaction to what you consider indecent is not government regulation but the remote control.

Go with it, George. Go with it.

From Broadcasting & Cable’s coverage, the transcript (full C-SPAN transcript here):

LAMB: … one of the big issues moving around Capitol Hill is indecency. And I want to ask you, how far do you think government should go in telling people who use the airwaves, the broadcast stations, what can be said?

PRESIDENT: As a free speech advocate, I often told parents who were complaining about content, you’re the first line of responsibility; they put an off button on the TV for a reason. Turn it off.

Amen. But he continues:

PRESIDENT: I do think, though, that there can be a — that government can, at times, not censor, but call to account programming that gets over the line. The problem, of course, is the definition “over the line.”

Well, but Mr. President, that is censorship. And, yes, that is precisely the problem: Where is the line and who draws it? Should it be government? No, it should not. You know that, in your heart of hearts. Go with it, George. Go with it.

PRESIDENT: My answer would be, if I were interviewing an FCC chairman, please tell me where the line is, and make sure you protect the capacity of people to speak freely in our society, but be willing to — if things get too far, call them to account. I think Michael did a good job of balancing that.

Mighty tight corner you just painted yourself into, Pres.

LAMB: There is a bill that if it were passed on Capitol Hill would up the fees, up the fine from $27,000 for using bad language, for instance, to $500,000 as a maximum fee.

Actually, that’s only the fine per incident. The maximums go up to $3 million. That is a serious chill on free speech. That is the intent of the legislation: to chill free speech. But to the President, it’s amusing:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they’re going to collect a lot of money when some of these TV shows are still on.

I’m not laughing, George.

LAMB: But is that — I mean, at what point, though, do you have somebody that says, that word can’t be used, but that word can be used?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I understand. Look, it’s the old — the classic definition of the Supreme Court — by the Supreme Court on pornography, you know it when you see it. I think that was Judge Potter Stewart who said that.

That was, I believe, what the court said on obscenity and that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about indecency on broadcast. He continues:

PRESIDENT: Look, we are a great society because we’re a free society. On the other hand, it is very important for there to be limits, limits to what parents have to explain to their children. Nevertheless, I do want to repeat what I said earlier — the parent’s first responsibility is to pay attention to what their children listen to, whether it be rock songs or movies or TV shows.

The poor man just gave himself whiplash flipflopping like that.

Let me help you out here, George: You are a Republican. You believe in small government. You abhor regulation. You should kill the FCC. Go with it, George. Go with it.