Bush and the ‘off’ button

Bush and the ‘off’ button

: At the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Bush spoke and Scott Anderson of the Chicago Tribune asked him about efforts to extend indecency legislation to cable and satellite. Bush didn’t hear the complete question and so it’s unclear whether he’s talking about regulation or merely personal standards. But he does repeat that the first and best defense against something you don’t like is the ‘off’ button.

Q There are those who would like to place on satellite and cable some

decency standards.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I’m for that. I think there ought to be a standard. On

the other hand, I fully understand that the final edit, or the final

decision is a parent turning off the TV. I mean, the ultimate responsibility

in a consumer-driven economy is for people to say I’m not going to watch it,

and turn the knob off. That’s how best to make decisions and how best to

send influences. But I don’t mind standards being set out for people to

adjudge the content of a show, to help parents make right decisions.

Government ought to help parents, not hinder parents in sending good

messages to their children.

But, look, I mean, we’re a free society. The marketplace makes decisions. If

you don’t like something, don’t watch it. And, presumably, advertising

dollars will wither and the show will go off the air. But I have no problems

with standards being set to help parents make good decisions.

: UPDATE: The White House backpedals on behalf of its man:

A White House spokesman said later Bush was merely expressing support for legislation that passed the House of Representatives last year that called for increasing fines on broadcasters that violated decency limits but did not address cable and satellite television.