Ted Stevens, our senator from Iran

Ted Stevens, our senator from Iran

: The Reuters report on Sen. Ted Stevens abhorrently unconstitutional attempt to extend government censorship to cable contains some mind-boggling quotes from him and his House cohort (my emphases):

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said he would push legislation this year to accomplish that goal and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton said he would back it if it does not violate free speech rights.

“Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area,” Stevens, from Alaska, told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents hundreds of local television and radio affiliates. “I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air” broadcasters.

“There has to be some standard of decency,” he said, but noted that “no one wants censorship.”

Stevens cited the discussion of masturbation and sex toys during prime time television as one example of content that bothered him. He told reporters he would extend the restrictions to premium channels like HBO as well.

If we can work out the constitutional questions, I’d be supportive of that,” Barton of Texas told reporters later at the conference. “I think they ought to play, to the extent possible, by the same rules.” …

Getaloada these loads: They know this is unconstitutional. But they propose it anyway to get publicity and votes.

They’re gaming the Constitution.

: I love this: 3Martini says we need a new bumpersticker:

I’m an adult. I watch cable. And I vote.

: Davenetics issues the same warning I always warn when these people want to expand censorship:

Let’s see, if they have the power to “deal with” cable and satellite, I wonder which medium might be dealt with next?

: John Thorpe adds:

I will put it as clearly as I can — in case the old dingbat Senator cannot understand it. This is not why we elected you. We elected you to cut taxes, fix the entitlements, and kill terrorists — and not in that order. That’s it. No one elected you to make sure that some busybody housewife in Ames, Iowa isn’t offended because Bart Simpson said “shit” or whatever the outrage du jour is this week.

: Note that one of Barton’s top contributors is Clear Channel.

: LATER: See Dan Gillmor, who also sees unfortunate similaries between Stevens’ reign and that in Maylasia.