In the last several days as a part of my surfing the Hate Media, I have heard Hannity, Limbaugh and Jim Bohannon grousing about the Fairness Doctrine. They are worried to death that the American Public might once again have the right to be heard on the broadcast media. Readers who are interested in in the public having access to the airwaves need to light up your Congress Persons and the Obama transition team. The Fairness Doctrine was rarely invoked when it was in force, and it tramples nobody’s First Amendment rights. It requires that the folks who are licensed to operate on public airwaves, which are owned by us all, provide reasonable opportunity for all sides of controversial issues to be aired. I don’t necessarily want to generate enough buzz to scare manaagement into taking these hate mongers off the air but I do expect mangement to pony up the time for adequate response to the poisonous vapors they spew. Licensees who think they have First Amendment rights that trump the rights of the public should transfer their licenses to me and I will be happy to see that all sides of controversial issues are fully and fairly aired. I certainly would not want their little First Amend feelings to be bruised or trampled. I also will be happy to buy a wheelbarrow so I can haul the millions of dollars these folks make from sitting a-squat and exploiting a public property down to my bank.
You know I have to comment on “Nipple Gate” aka Janet Jackson’s nipple at the super bowl. As most of you know the fine levied against CBS for the incident has been tossed out.
Here is my take.
I contend, with them and the original George Carlin lawsuit involving the FCC, that the government does not have the right to restrict free speech simply because it hates the words being used. Our freedom of speech should only be tempered in cases when the danger is clear, present and imminent- such as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. However, using words like shit, piss, cocksucker, motherfucker, fuck, god damn, etc… should not be regulated because there is no provable negative effect that anyone can demonstrate in a controlled, scientifically sound experiment.
The republicans can always be counted on to invoke the “free market” as a “decider”. If something cannot make it on the free market, their theory goes, then it should die. I agree. I believe now that we are in an age with hundreds of television channels it is time to let the free market decide what programming is appropriate. If “family friendly” channels can make money then they obviously would spring up all over the place. As long as there are children to sell cereal to and religious adults afraid of speaking and acting in an “adult” fashion there will always be a market for them. We don’t need the FCC to regulate any speech, at all. Allowing the market to provide the right wingers with the programming they chose is the conservative thing to do. It would allow the liberals to cling to their cherished first amendment and the righties to ching to their free market ideology. Win meet win.
Filed under Corporations, FCC, First Amendment, Free Speech, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Science, Sex, Sex Ed, Supreme Court