CBS Marketwatch has an exploration of things to come at the FCC after the proverbial baton is proverbially handed off.
Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that the Senate may take up the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act when it’s done playing with bankruptcy law. Sources tell B&C that the vote could come by the end of the week, and that it will almost definitely engender some debate. This could also be the opportunity Ted Stevens has been looking for to tack on a cable regulation provision.
Civics refresher: It’s the House-authored bill that the Senate will vote on. The Senate’s more moderate Brownback/Lieberman bill seems to have died in committee. The House bill, remember, would raise fines to a whopping $500,000 per violation.
Talk to your Senators. Speak up.
No new news, but at least people are starting to get it: University of Georgia Grady College Professor Warns of Increased Governmental Pressures on Broadcasters and College Press
Ann Long, editor of a high school newspaper in Fullerton, CA, was removed from her post after publishing an article about the closet/uncloset delimma of three fellow students. The ACLU has stepped in.
According to the LA Times, school officials have offered several excuses for firing long: “They first accused her of violating a state law that prohibits asking students about their sexuality without parents’ consent. Officials instead admonished Long for breaking widely held journalist standards and for allegedly ignoring orders from her teacher to obtain permission from the parents mentioned in the article.”
The Agape Press, which can always be relied upon for providing an interesting perspective, has this to say about “political correctness,” of which Hollywood is apparently the worst offender:
These PC mediums and messengers are numerous. They include most daily newspapers, the major news networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN), most weekly news magazines (Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report), and most major social and cultural publications (US, Spin, People, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone). They also include most colleges campuses across the country, the bulk of which have a majority of left-leaning professors who instinctively promote their philosophy of political correctness.
That philosophy runs the gamut of issues: ignoring the differences between male and female, homosexual “rights,” promotion of child/adult sex, sexual “freedom,” religious intolerance, intolerance of any form of judgment, performance-norming (for employers), chastisement of superior performance (in schools and business), an emphasis on winning (in younger school sports), criticism of competition (on all levels), acceptance of soft drugs, the “right” to die, the lack of accountability for anyone or anybody, insensitivity towards certain ethnic groups, reparations, and so on.
Hollywood is another strong ally of political correctness. The titans of Tinseltown periodically espouse their left-leaning philosophy of tolerance and inclusion in the movies they direct and produce. Like a constant drumbeat, the mantra of (cultural, social, political, religious and sexual) political correctness is regularly paraded through the programming they produce for movies and television.
From Faith Rogow, founding president of Alliance for a Media Literate America:
Some parents have objected to including lesbian parents in a [the “Sugartime” episode of “Postcards from Buster"] because they believe that they should have the right to decide when and how to expose their children to this “lifestyle.” Sorry, but that train has come and gone. There are tens of thousands of gay and lesbian parents in the United States. Hundreds live with their children right here in our own community. Are we really prepared to be cruel enough to say to real children from a real family who opened their home to the cameras, “Sorry, we can show all kinds of families, but not yours"?
It ain’t all peaches and cream. The NY Sun reports that Morality in the Media, Focus on the Family and other anti-obscentiy crusaders are only “cautiously” optimistic about Alberto Gonzales’ pledge to crack down on porn.
“John Ashcroft did not come through as we anticipated,” said the president of the group Morality in Media, Robert Peters. “People concerned about obscenity were not very happy about the results in the first four years of President Bush,” he said.
“We are optimistic, but cautiously so,” said the senior analyst for the press and sexuality at Focus on the Family, Daniel Weiss. “We have to wait to see whether it actually materializes.”
An Indian actor-director has called for the makeover of India’s state censorship board. “The Censor Board should be rid of all the political elements,” he said, “especially from opposition parties who are placed there to be placated. I cannot make a film on a dam site or on a riot. They water it down and make me ineffectual. What I say politically is also shut down in the pretext of protecting the viewer from sex. We have to say what we have to, even if it is a political statement, a viewpoint of a Muslim or a Hindu.
“Compromises,” he said, lead to “the impotency of an artiste.”
When it happens in India, it’s “repression.” When it happens at home, it’s “family values.”
In today’s news from the slippery slope, the Michigan Court of Appeals is to decide whether public indecent exposure laws can be used to prosecute nudity on cable TV, which is typically exempt from indecency regulation. The case involves a man who was prosecuted after his appearance on a cable access show. His schtick: Performing an erzatz stand-up comedy routine with his penis.
The Kent County DA won its indecent exposure case. The penis appealed, and its appeal was handled by the ACLU.
The Appeals Court ruling could have a far-reaching impact on cable regulation, and could weigh on Senator Ted Stevens’ and Congressman Joe Barton’s promise to extend FCC regulation to cable broadcasters. Outgoing FCC Chair Michael Powell has pooh-poohed the idea, noting that a 2000 Supreme Court decision (U.S. vs. Playboy Entertainment Group) upheld cable’s right to air nudity and other material not-safe-for-children.