SpeakSpeak News


Judiciary Chair: The Indecent Should Hang

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/04/2005 @ 7:47 pm

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner has jumped on the indecency bandwagon, saying that Broadcast Indecinators should face criminal charges, not regulatory fines.

“People who are in flagrant disregard should face a criminal process rather than a regulatory process,” the Wisconsin Republican said at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual convention in San Francisco. “That way you aim the cannon specifically at the people who are committing the offenses,” and not at everyone, he said. “The people who are trying to do the right thing end up being penalized the same way the people who are doing the wrong thing.” (Freshman Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said that he will pursue obscenity cases.)

Sensenbrenner also stated that he does not support FCC regulation of cable and satellite TV/radio.

From Reuters and The Hollywood Reporter.

Village Voice on Things to Come

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/04/2005 @ 7:34 pm

Says Village Voice media guy Douglas Wolk:

The good news about [new FCC chair Kevin] Martin is that he’s not the flag-waver for media consolidation that Powell was—he’s for it and all, but he doesn’t want to eliminate broadcast ownership caps altogether. The bad news is that Martin is even more gung ho about indecency. He’s often argued that FCC judgments fining radio and TV stations weren’t nearly harsh enough.

The FCC reports that it received 1,405,419 complaints about broadcast indecency in 2004, roughly evenly split between radio and television. That’s up from 202,032 in 2003, and only 111 complaints in 2000. It’s not that the airwaves have gotten a thousand times raunchier in the last five years—it’s that L. Brent Bozell III has hit the scene. Bozell is the chief bluenose at the Parents Television Council, which MediaWeek reported was responsible for around 99.9 percent of last year’s complaints. (The PTC claims that figure should only be about 21 percent.) He also runs the Media Research Center (dedicated to “neutralizing liberal media bias"), and belongs to the secretive, hyper-conservative Council for National Policy. Martin wrote to Bozell in 2003 that he believes broadcasters’ First Amendment rights “should be limited by good taste.” Which would sort of negate the point of the First Amendment, wouldn’t it?


Bluenosed: FCC prudes get vaguer, but satellite radio’s no answer, Village Voice.

Science Guy: IMAX Censorship Not Good

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/04/2005 @ 6:39 am

The CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the publisher of the magazine Science (same guy) has condemned several IMAX theatres’ decision to forego movies that bump up against evolution. Several theatres have expressed concern that showing movies with evolutionary themes – such as the explosive pic “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea,” might get them in hot water with religious activists.

In a letter to 400 science groups, Alan Leshner says:

We are writing now to express strong concerns about increasing threats to science that endanger our shared missions and to offer our support and partnership in dealing with them. The desire not to antagonize audiences and to avoid negative business outcomes is entirely understandable. Yet, the suppression of scientifically accurate information as a response to those with differing perspectives is inappropriate and threatens both the integrity of science and the broader public education to which we all are committed. It is also objectionable to many stakeholders-including many with strong religious convictions – who understand that religion and science are not in opposition.

In the aptly named Obvious News.

Protesters Protest Obscene Marathon

Filed under by Amanda Toering — 04/04/2005 @ 6:30 am

An angry mob in Pakistan lobbed molotov cocktails and wielded bats against participants in an obscene marathon-length foot race. The marathon, it seems, was co-ed. Twenty-five people were injured in the melee.

New Kerala.

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