10
Mrz
2005

An indecent act

by Bernie Sanders

In These Times

03/08/05

Apparently a lot of people in Congress do not believe that Americans should have the 'freedom' to make the choice about what they listen to on the radio or watch on TV. On February 16, the House passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 (H.R. 310) by a vote of 389 to 38. This legislation would impose vastly higher fines -- up to $500,000 -- on broadcasters who air so-called indecent material. What it doesn't do is provide any relief from the vague standard of
indecency that the Federal Communications Commission can arbitrarily apply. That means broadcasters, particularly small broadcasters, will have no choice but to engage in a very dangerous cycle of self-censorship to avoid the threat of a fine that could drive some of them into bankruptcy. If this legislation is enacted, the real victim will be free expression and Americans' First Amendment rights...

//www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2003/



Doorstops and paperweights

by Terry Mitchell

Frontiers of Freedom

03/09/05

Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has come up with what he believes is a brilliant idea. He thinks the FCC should have to the power to hold cable and satellite channels to the same decency standards as over-the-air broadcasters. ... If government entities can get away with censoring material delivered as part of a private contract by means of privately owned equipment, then what's to stop them from censoring books, videos, newspapers, magazines, and even the internet? The First Amendment, you might say? Well, no, if the First Amendment could be interpreted in such as way as to allow the censorship of cable and satellite TV, our last line of defense would be broken down. Nothing could stop the government, as the flood gates would be opened to just about any kind of censorship they wanted...

//tinyurl.com/6msyz


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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