The Senate’s Recent “Open Forum on Decency”

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held an “Open Forum on Decency” yesterday to discussion media standards, including sexual content on cable television channels and satellite radio broadcasting. The forum was hosted by Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and was attended by executives from radio, television and media outlets to discuss the subject of how to give parents more control over the media content their children are exposed to.
You may know my opinion on the subject from previous rants I’ve posted, especially about censoring cable — I pay good money for that smut and expect it to remain on my television, thank you. I won’t be the unwilling babysitter of other people’s kids.
This idea struck me as interesting, though: the FCC is reversing it’s previous position and supporting the idea of “al-la-carte” cable where you would get to pick and choose what channels you have on your cable service. That method would allow sanctimonious parents to eliminate MTV and Spike from their cable lineups, a move that is bitterly opposed by the Cable industry, because media companies make money by bundling channels together. For example, Disney owns ESPN, and makes money from having it bundled on your cable service regardless of whether you watch it or not.
Several religious leaders cautioned against the al-la-carte idea, however, saying that people could just as easily go the other direction and eliminate religious programming from their cable line-up, which I guess would be just wrong, in their eyes.
Exactly the leap I made myself; “Cool! I can strike down Faux News!” That bogus station would be the first thing I eliminated from my line-up, followed by the religious channels, home shopping stations, and all sports channels other than ESPN, which I’d have to keep so my girlfriend could watch ice skating.

Posted in Media

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