I haven’t seen the report mentioned in this story, but I don’t need to read it to know that any recommendation it makes is unconstitutional. The First Amendment says what it says, without exceptions for violence or protecting children from potential harm. This is classic government overreach permitted by populist ramblings.
Television networks are free to sprinkle their programs with shootings, slashings, torture and other gore because the government has no regulatory authority over violent programming. But a draft report being circulated at the Federal Communications Commission says Congress can change that, without violating the First Amendment.
Networks are free to sprinkle such things into their programs because we have a previously recognized right to free speech expression. Cable has even more freedom, yet it’s hard to argue that those networks are showing more than the broadcast networks. Any viewing of a commercial for 24 should be enough to counter such silly complaints. (Also important, we’re more upset about fake torture on television than real torture by our government? That’s majoritarianism at its most hypocritical.)
The long-overdue report suggests Congress could craft a law that would let the agency regulate violent programming much like it regulates sexual content and profanity _ by barring it from being aired during hours when children may be watching, for example.
Take one wrong idea and perpetuate it. This is what we’ve come to. Every decision made by every person should be filtered through whether or not it’s appropriate for children. We really are marching along to ever-more statism while the majority stands by and cheers.
I have a better idea: parents. Shocking, I know, but it seems to work when applied. It’s easier to pass time-consuming parenting decisions to someone else, I suppose. I don’t have kids, so maybe I’m missing the point. I thought it was to experience raising a child from dependence to independence. Is it really just a task designed to pass a child from one dependence to another? Maybe it’s a scam to have free labor for household chores.
Dan Isett, director of corporate and government affairs for the Parents Television Council, said the industry’s campaign to make parents the violence police is “purely designed to convince the Congress that they (programmers) are being responsible.”
The parental blocking technologies are insufficient due to a flawed television rating system, he said. As for the argument that cable is pressuring broadcasters to be edgier, Isett believes that’s nonsense.
Umm, if the ratings system is flawed, presumably letting inappropriate violent content senak into a lighter rating when parents might expect otherwise, parents should block shows with the offending rating. If that means you block everything but G-rated content on the Disney channel, so be it. That’s simple, and technology most certainly can handle that. Instead, the Parents Television Council wants government to do the job for parents. No effort needed. This would be bad enough if it applied to PTC members, but the PTC obviously wants all children shielded from what it deems inappropriate. Start with majoritarian nonsense and swirl in a batch of authoritarian goodness.
Enjoy this most laughable claim in the article:
The issue is bipartisan. Martin, a Republican, gave a joint interview to The Associated Press with Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps.
Getting a proud censor like Commissioner Copps on board for more FCC regulations is about as compelling as stating that scientists believe our planet revolves around the sun. Duh. I’d rather hear from someone who believes the Constitution is still enough justification to restrain American government. That would involve principles rather than politics, though, so I don’t expect to hear it from anyone in office.