Yesterday morning, members of Congress, representatives from broadcast and cable networks, and the christian right all converged on Washington to discuss indecency and violent content on TV. Luckily, no one who represented the protection of first amendment rights was allowed in to sidetrack the matter at hand: how do we protect the children?
Despite the latest cable TV campaign which carefully instructs parents on such matters as how to turn off their TV or change the channel (gasp!) if they witness something they might not want their children to view, that just isn't enough for the Parents Television Council (PTC). Oh no, these right-wing christians want the FCC to regulate content on cable and satellite TV (they have always been exempt since consumers must pay for these services, whereas broadcast television falls under FCC rule because it is freely available to anyone with a TV set), and they also demand a-la-carte cable options, something that the cable industry absolutely dreads.
Cleverly, the satellite and cable companies came up with a plan to thwart a-la-carte and appease the PTC: offer a "family tier" of programming as an optional package. Censorship-happy democrats and republicans are now unsatisfied with most of these family-friendly packages because sports channels are excluded.
Dare we remind them what got us into this indecency/censorship mess in the first place? Checkmate.