Friday, April 29, 2005

Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders: Against the Policing of TV

(courtesy of Scratchings)

Representative Sanders: Right with Fran Drescher on TV police
by Representative Bernie Sanders

Fran Drescher is absolutely right in her April 14, 2005, opinion piece “Government Shouldn’t Be Our Children’s Entertainment Nanny” that increasing broadcaster fines for so-called “indecency” threatens Americans’ Constitutional rights. Unfortunately, the majority of the House chose to side with a very vocal minority who want the federal morality police determining what Americans can watch on television. One of reasons some of us opposed H.R. 310 was the slippery slope it would be taking us down. Guess what? We were wrong. It wasn’t a slippery slope. It was a cliff.

Emboldened by the House’s failure to defend freedom, Sen. Stevens is proposing to go far beyond raising fines for broadcasters. He now wants to extend the FCC’s vaguely defined “indecency” rules to cable and satellite programming — programming that Americans voluntarily subscribe to and pay for. And now, President Bush has reversed his position on the issue and expressed his support for FCC censorship of cable and satellite. Where will it end?

Regardless of whether one supports increasing indecency fines for broadcasters, every member of Congress should oppose the extension of FCC oversight to cable and satellite — a move that is unprecedented and that even former FCC Chairman Michael Powell concedes is unconstitutional.

Congress should reject the Bush/Stevens plan to censor cable and satellite. House members should cosponsor H.R. 1440, legislation that would expressly bar the FCC from censoring cable and satellite content, as well as the Internet — which is sure to be the next target that the right-wing extremists go after. Enough is enough. The time has come for all Americans who love freedom to fight to prevent Uncle Sam from becoming Big Brother. Washington, D.C.

Original Posting at Sander's Website

1 comment:

Deleted said...

The larger point, which one of my readers unfortunately missed, is that there's not a whole of difference on civil liberties between the libertarian right and the radical left. It's a real sore point with the more anarchic and minarchist libertarians that poseurs like Glen Reynolds claim to be libertarians.