CommunityPam's House Blend

Burn the First Amendment — for the children

Yes, that’s A-OK with Robert Peters, head of Morality in Media. He wants to ensure that broadcast TV as well as cable is smut-free for the young ones.

Does he not have channel blocking functions on his cable remote, or are he and the sheeple just too stupid to use it?

Peters says broadcasting today is dominated by media giants for whom a $32,500 fine can be treated, “like corporate parking tickets,” as an easily affordable cost of doing business. Once signed into law by President Bush, the FCC would be able to levy penalties up to ten times that amount. “That,” notes Peters, “will hopefully get the attention of both corporate executives and shareholders.”

Of course, Peters says, the potential for large fines will only help if federal regulators continue to enforce broadcast indecency laws. Also, he remarks, Congress needs to address the problem of indecent programming on non-premium cable and satellite TV channels. Although “there is undoubtedly a market for sex and vulgarity,” the Morality in Media spokesman observes, “opinion polls indicate that most Americans are offended by and concerned about the glut of sex and vulgarity on TV. While Americans cherish their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and press, most also want to live and raise children in a safe and decent society.”

In any case, Peters points out, the Supreme Court has already ruled that enforcement of indecency laws does not constitution impermissible censorship. “Imposing the maximum fine poses no threat to freedom of speech,” he says, “because the First Amendment was not intended to provide a license to pollute public spaces with indecent talk and pictures.”

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You know, when Kate and I were driving from Rochester, MN to Winona, we barely made it out of the airport when we we came upon a giant flashing electric sign for the latest XXX porno, sexy lingerie and “organic smoking products” up for sale at a roadside establishment.

What does Peters intend to do about adult entertainment that isn’t broadcast over the airwaves, but is out in the heartland? Never mind, they are working on that as well, right? I hate to break it to him, but sex and vulgarity of the kind he’s consumed by is as American as apple pie. He won’t eradicate it no matter how hard he tries.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding