Tube boobs

Tube boobs

: This is incredible: The head of the National Association of Broadcasters selfishly argues for extending indecency regulations to cable just because if he has to suffer under unconstitutional FCC censorship of free speech, he wants his competitors to as well. If the man likes censorship so much, he would have done well to have stuck a gag in his own mouth before he delivered that idiotic and dangerous speech.

President and CEO Eddie Fritts, speaking during the opening ceremony of the NAB’s convention in Las Vegas, said broadcasters prefer ìresponsible industry self-regulationî to government regulation. ìBut I must ask: if Congress decides to regulate broadcasters for indecency, does it make any sense for cable, satellite TV (and) satellite radio to get a free pass?î Fritts said.

But it’s not just one fool. This is apparently NAB policy:

“If you are going to regulate broadcasters, the same rules ought to apply,” NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said.

Note that even Bush is not pushing for indecency regulation creeping into satellite and cable.

: The Boi from Troy says it wonderfully:

This issue is not new. In fact, it reinforces my belief in Nineties Nostalgia. Rather than seek to regulate cable and satellite content, Bill Clinton pushed the market to adopt the V Chip and a ratings system. That way, even if a parent were not around, they could choose which programs and stations to which family members had access.

What we’ve got here is a question of personal responsibility–a theme George Bush highlighted in his 2000 Presidential Campaign. With 200+ stations across the dial–appealing to animal lovers, women, history buffs, motorcyclists, and soon, homosexuals–you pretty much know what to expect whenever you choose to watch a certain station. If seeing kimodo dragons bite off water buffalo testicles is not your kind of thing, don’t watch Animal Planet!

By suggesting that the federal government should regulate cable and satellite content, he is saying that the “Responsibility Era” is not about taking personal responsibility…it’s about the federal government taking responsibility for the rest of us. And in this case, I have to say I prefer Clinton’s approach to Bush’s.

: Pieter Dorsman says that the government and the industry are moving past the V-Chip to the N-chip.

: Brendan Loi agrees with Boi from Troy as does Roger L. Simon; ditto Nobody’s Business.

: An archive of many of my recent posts on the topic here.

: On the V-chip: I actually opposed the V-chip when it was proposed years ago and, back when I was a TV critic, I got into a loud argument about it with Democratic Rep. Ed Markey on John McLaughlin’s old cable show.

My argument was that by enabling this technology and empowering networks to decide what content gets the scarlet V, we also enable government to argue that the ratings aren’t right and to decide what content should be tagged with the label.

Note that, of course, the so-called Parents Television Council is arguing that the networks aren’t labeling content properly [via TVGeekSpeak]. We can see where this heads. Slippery, that slope.

Then and now I still favor (1) the First Amendment, (2) the marketplace, (3) parents’ authority, and (4) the off-button. But the V-chip already exists and so it is being used as an argument against further government regulation.