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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Censoring Cable


Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Tuesday he would push for applying broadcast decency standards to cable television and subscription satellite TV and radio. 'Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area,' the Alaska Republican told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents most local television and radio affiliates. 'I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air' broadcasters. 'There has to be some standard of decency,' he said. But he also cautioned that 'No one wants censorship.'
No one except Senator Stevens apparently anyway. One can make a plausible argument for decency standards over the public airwaves, since the bands are a shared public resource which we lease to private companies and hence can contractually set standards for content. This may or may not be a good idea, but at least you can plausibly argue the right to do it. That argument of course falls down for cable. Which is why, although Senator Stevens thinks he has the same power in this circumstance, he is dead wrong. (via VodkaPundit)


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