SpeakSpeak News


Congressman Bernie Sanders Speaks Out

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 1:17 pm

Our favorite anti-censorship Congressman — okay, the only anti-censorship Congressman that we know of — has penned an attack against those who would impose indecency fines against opt-in, subscription-based cable networks. Those cheap ghostwriters for hire that we know of are usually a good help, but sometimes it's possible to work even without them.

In his 2004 inaugural address, President Bush spoke repeatedly about the need to bring freedom and liberty to the world. In fact, he was so focused on the concept that he referenced the word “freedom” a whopping 27 times during the 21-minute speech. I’m happy the president is embracing the concept of freedom. Now if we could only get him to start practicing what he preaches.

Since his inauguration address, President Bush and his right-wing colleagues in Congress have launched a full-scale effort to limit and control the programming Americans are able to see and hear over the airwaves and the Internet. In short, they’re going after your computer, your radio and your remote control.


It is in this context of an overall attack on dissenting opinions that the effort to censor cable and satellite TV becomes truly frightening. This is not simply about cleaning up offensive content; it is about the extreme right wing pushing to limit the free exchange of ideas. The time has come for all Americans who love freedom to let the government know that they don’t want Uncle Sam turning into Big Brother.

Published in In These Times, via Common Dreams.

Right-Wing Groups Critical of Groups That Criticize Them

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 1:05 pm

Dobson’s Focus on the Family reports that “media groups” are critical of the TV Watch poll — which found that parents don’t want the government to interfere with their parenting choices.

Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, said TV Watch simply designed a survey that would give the result the industry wanted, “which is to convey the impression that the large percentage of the American people think the whole job of protecting children from bad things on TV should fall on the parents.”

PTC flack Melissa Caldwell goes on to imply that parents are too stupid to figure out controls already available to them: “It could take months for a parent to figure out how to set the parental controls,” Caldwell said.

And the article concludes with MIM’s Peters finally saying what the Right always implies, but will never state explicitly: “Not every kid has a perfect parent. So society has to step into the gap at some point.”

In other words, it takes a politically motivated, censorship-happy, evangelical Christian village to raise a child.

From Family News in Focus.

Ever Hear of a Frisbee?

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 12:50 pm

3Martini reports on a recent poll that details these kids today. Specifically, they’re TV and tech junkies.

3Martini’s conclusions:

(1) Most kids who claim they have no free time are full of shit.

(2) The solution to the educational crisis in America is study hall.

Read more.

What If You Held a Book Burning and No One Showed Up?

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 12:23 pm

Alabama’s propsed ban on gay books has died the slow, painful death it deserves. Representative Gerald Allen’s bill was scheduled for a vote recently, but too few legislators showed up for a vote to be held.

Allen says he’ll try again next session.

Coverage is scant, but there are editorials in Washington’s Tri-City Herald and Ohio University’s Post Online.

What the FCC — ?

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 11:41 am

Our friends at the Center for Creative Voices in the Media have opened a CafePress store. Where else can you buy a T-Shirt that says “What the FCC happened to Free Speech?”

Buy some swag and support the good folks at CCVM (even though they beat us to it…).

The Hostile Takeover of PBS

Filed under
  • PBS
 by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 11:15 am

The Center for Digital Democracy analyzes the very depressing state of current affairs at the Sesame Street network.

[The Corporation for Public Broadcasting] made a series of legal demands designed to reshape PBS programming to its own conservative and non-journalistic ideological perspectives. According to the contract, CPB wanted PBS to agree that its programming would be governed by [the CPB’s] own sponsored research and analysis—called the “CPB Needs Assessment Research and Analysis.” CPB’s goal was to secure an ideological “straitjacket” over what should be the editorial independence of PBS programmers.

We, the Media People…

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/10/2005 @ 11:09 am

A coalition of over 100 diverse activist groups has presented what it calls the Media Bill of Rights. SpeakSpeak is proud to be a signatory.

Among other things, the Media Bill of Rights calls for

Journalism that fully informs the public, is independent of the government and acts as its watchdog, and protects journalists who dissent from their employers.

Public broadcasting insulated from political and commercial interests that is well-funded and especially serves communities underserved by privately-owned broadcasters.

Media that reflect the presence and voices of people of color, women, labor, immigrants, Americans with disabilities, and other communities often underrepresented.

Read more at the Center for Creative Voices in the Media.

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