The very influential and powerful Senator Ted Stevens has said that the FCC is doing such a great job enforcing the broadcast airwaves, that they should also start policing cable TV and satellite radio, (where they currently have no jurisdiction to regulate "indecent" speech). All it would take is a congressional act to give the FCC the power to start censoring HBO and Sirius Satellite Radio, to name a few services that would see their first amendment rights reigned in. And guess what - there is a congressional act just laying around - it's called the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (BDEA), and the House passed it's preliminary version of the bill 389-38 on February 16th.
So why am I thanking Senator Ted?
Because if he tries to extend the FCC's censorship to the cable and satellite industries, he will torpedo the BDEA's chance of ratification. This is what happened to the BDEA last year, when various Senators attached FCC ownership rules to the original censorship legislation. There was so much opposition to the FCC's corporate welfare program (aka "ownership rule reform") last year (on both sides of the aisle ) that the BDEA got bogged down.
I've got my fingers crossed that Stevens' attempt to extend censorship to paid subscription services will be similiarly unpopular by both groups of idiots in the House and the Senate, thereby torpedoing BDEA '05. Here's hoping!