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Nanny Of Us All
Ayn Rand Institute's Yaron Brook reacts against our government appointing itself our governess and fining media companies that violate "indecency" standards, calling it "an ominous attack on the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment":

Just as the government doesn't fine newspapers that publish cartoons that Muslims deem indecent, it shouldn't fine broadcasters that air shows that viewers deem indecent. Viewers are free to change the channel or turn off their TV set if they do not like what they see. They can't be forced to patronize a station they find indecent.

Moreover, it is the parents--not the government--who should be responsible for determining what their children are allowed to watch on TV.

If people can't parent their kids, perhaps it's indecent of them to have them. Perhaps, as long as we're deleting freedoms, we should sterilize everybody until they pass an anti-assclown test, and prove themselves qualified to parent.

Posted by aalkon at May 23, 2006 10:13 AM

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Comments

The Anti-Assclown protocol should be implemented instantly.

"Parenting-- it's the toughest job in the world-- but the easiest one to get. all you need is a surface." I which I could remember which comedienne said this!

I've always believed that a license should be required to have a child, but the argument ends up smacking of eugenics or 1984-- and civil discourse ends before it can begin.

"Social Engineering" isn't a bad thing, but it must be social pressure, not governmental. Taking pictures of jerks and posting them on a blog or something.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at May 23, 2006 3:47 AM

Coming soon. Porsche Lady. Drive-through Starbucks assclown.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 23, 2006 6:05 AM

The airwaves belong to the public at large and are administered by the gov to prevent every Tom, Dick and Harry from broadcasting on the same frequency and screwing the entire medium beyond use.
Now, the broadcasters lease these frequencies for small sums on the understanding that they will comply with the rules set down by the public's representatives (the gov). That's us as in, a democracy, not isolated individuals with potty-mouths.

Stated simply, a miniscule portion of the communications medium is set aside for public access under rules which tailor this miniscule range so as to make it the least offensive as possible, given the broad range of consumers.


With that in mind, let's look at the article:

"Just as the government doesn't fine newspapers that publish cartoons that Muslims deem indecent, it shouldn't fine broadcasters that air shows that viewers deem indecent."

Other than the fact that newspapers are not, and never were, meant to be directed freely to all segments of society.

"Viewers are free to change the channel or turn off their TV set if they do not like what they see."

True, but this statement presumes that the broadcasters and their employees own the medium (like newspapers own theirs), which is false. Broadcasters and entertainers make their living on those channels at the public's liesure.

"They can't be forced to patronize a station they find indecent."

Again, its their medium, not the broadcaster's.

"Moreover, it is the parents--not the government--who should be responsible for determining what their children are allowed to watch on TV."

This they have done, by insisting on civil, non-potty-mouth viewing on publicly owned, free access media.

Seems a helluva deal to me that people equate being forced to behave like civil adults on someone else's dime to suppression of speech, which is more correctly displayed by recalling the private newspapers forcibly shut down in tyrant nations.

Please explain the equation, and please forego the tired slippery slope crap, as the U.S. has never in its history had absolute freedom of speech ("Fire!" in the theater, libel, slander, etc.).



Posted by: Oligonicella at May 23, 2006 9:45 AM

Oli's right.

These are the Good Old Days for indecency; it makes me wish I was young and pretty. There are more venues for slutty, debased behavior than ever before. People shouldn't squander those energies in the few remaining sectors where it's all about Lawrence Welk and Sunrise Semester.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2006 12:17 PM

If I had a daughter, I'd lock her up in a room with the Complete Works of Shakespeare, An Introduction to Matrix Algebra, and absolutely no television or radio for the first 18 years of her life.

Posted by: Lena at May 23, 2006 12:38 PM

Sounds like the way I was raised!!


I kid.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at May 23, 2006 5:07 PM

Hell, Lena, if I had a kid, I wouldn't teach her to READ.

It's too fucking dangerous.

People are savages.

Posted by: Crid at May 23, 2006 8:27 PM

>>The airwaves are administered by the gov to prevent every Tom, Dick and Harry from broadcasting on the same frequency and screwing the entire medium beyond use.

True, but far less so than it used to be. Thanks to alternate delivery methods (cable, satellite, internet), and improved broadcast technology that consumes less bandwidth, spectrum scarcity is much less of an issue.

In fact, the FCC has long since abandoned its policy of awarding bandwidth rights to those who best served the public good. Nowadays, it's simply sold to the highest bidder.

Posted by: Gary S. at May 23, 2006 9:37 PM

I'm reminded of a television mini-series I had to watch while I was in the military language school to learn German.

The Germans, it seems, don't have quite the censorship laws that we do. In this television series, which we likened to "The Brady Bunch," profanity was used. When the children were throwing a party, one of their friends complained about the fact that the Ravioli being served wasn't homemade but came out of a can. "Sheisse," she called it, meaning "shit."

But to get to the point of this, why not handle profanity the way we do in life? Treat as something uncultured and rude. Something that people use when making a point, but it doesn't belong everywhere! But why do we have to treat it on our sitcoms like it's something that doesn't exist?

Why not have an episode of the Brady Bunch in which Cindy used profanity in inappropriate place? Perhaps she got really mad at the schoolyard bully and called him a shithead, or something?

Mike and Carol could sit down with her and explain that while agreeing with her assessment, saying such words in class is considered impolite.

Hmmm... interesting. This could have the makings of a whole episode. Cindy could demonstrate a rebellious streak and tell Mike and Carol to "fuck off," and that it's a free country and she's allowed to say what she wants, when she wants. Then Cindy could learn the hard way, in the prepackaged sitcom space of a half-hour (oh, how brutal), that there's a time and place for everything, but not every place is appropriate for profanity.

Maybe some justly offended friend of hers could slap that little bitch silly. I shouldn't say that. I like Cindy better than Marcia, the narcissist. ("Jan...if boys don't find you attractive, don't blame it on me." What an evil-minded shrew!) My only regret about Marcia is regarding the football episode when she got hit on the nose. I wish the boys were learning how to throw a shotput, instead of playing football. Oh, perhaps Greg could have been learning how to drive and backed the car over her. Have Marcia be seen in a body cast for the remainder of the season!

Posted by: Patrick at May 24, 2006 8:30 AM

"Hell, Lena, if I had a kid, I wouldn't teach her to READ. It's too fucking dangerous."

Yes, but the more she reads, the less likely she is to discover her clitoris and raise all sorts of havoc with it.

Posted by: Lena at May 24, 2006 11:59 AM

[quote="family guy"]

"and so ends another dark and shameful chapter in this town's history; one which leaves this reporter asking, 'how much moral perversion and bankruptcy must we, as a nation, endure?'"

"thanks, diane. next up, stay tuned for our special investigative report on the clitoris, nature's rubic's cube"

[/quote]

Posted by: g*mart at May 24, 2006 1:35 PM

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