Tuesday January 10th 2006, 1:54 pm
Filed under: Free Speech, Cable/Satellite, Government, TV, Indecency
I was optimistic as this year started that Congress would set aside the indecency controversy for 2006.
Cable providers such as Time Warner had announced a “family-tier” of channels. The channels in that package are mostly appropriate for small children, and can be purchased separately from channels such as MTV.
Unfortunately, there are going to be two groups of decency panels convened for Senate hearings on January 19, 2006. One to discuss a new ratings system for TV, another to talk about passing indecency legislation.
On the indecency legislation panel will be “National Association of Broadcasters Joint Board Chairman Bruce Reese; Parents Television Council President Brent Bozell; CBS Executive VP Martin Franks; Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg; and Jeff McIntyre of the American Psychological Association. “
I assume that at least two of those people, Bruce Reese and Martin Franks, will oppose heavier indecency fines. Brent Bozell will support heavier indecency fines. As for Alan Rosenberg and Jeff McIntyre, I don’t know. But Jeff McIntyre has knocked “self-regulation” with regard to TV ratings, which isn’t an encouraging sign.
The big problem is that Congress should be addressing more important issues, like how to increase the supply of low-income housing. Congress shouldn’t be contemplating whether to further restrict freedom of speech. If Congress is to address freedom of speech at all, it should be investigating how to EXPAND freedom of speech.
« Brent Bozell and Jeff Jarvis »
A smaller problem is that while Brent Bozell, a well-known supporter of increasing indecency fines from outside the TV industry has been asked to testify, no one outside the TV industry known for advocating free speech has been asked to testify. Jeff Jarvis could be such a person, but hasn’t been invited.
Jeff Jarvis wrote today about his attempt to get on the panel.