Apparently there a whole bunch of people who don't have anything better to do than complain to the Federal Communications Commission about Miley Cyrus's dance moves.
The Smoking Gun obtained more than 150 pages of FCC complaints about the pop stars act at MTV's Video Music Awards last month, which The Huffington Post has conveniently posted as a single, 161-page document.
Some of them are fairly absurd. A few choice excerpts from The Smoking Gun's highlight reel:
* Cyrus accused of “licking the butt of a stuff bear.”
* Cyrus engaged in “implied sexual acts with bears.”
* Cyrus appeared “like she just coked up back stage ….really !!!!!”
Subjugated! Practically tortured!
The joke's on the complainers, though, as the FCC doesn't actually regulate indecency on cable networks like MTV. Thank goodness!
As the agency explains, it stays its hand from the higher end of the channel line-up "because cable and satellite services are subscription-based." As a result "viewers of these services have greater control over the programming content that comes into their homes."
Over the years, of course, various legislative nanniers have argued that the FCC ought to extend its censorious reach to cover pay-cable networks. But what incidents like this suggest is that we ought to seriously consider the opposite approach: taking the FCC off watch for broadcast as well.
For many if not most viewers, there's little meaningful distinction between cable and broadcast networks at this point. And people have just as much control over what comes into their homes, and what they watch, regardless of the source.
So the hands-off logic that applies to cable ought to apply to broadcast as well: Just as there's no good reason to police what MTV can and can't show, becuase people can always choose to watch something else, there's no good reason for federal censors to limit what the broadcast networks can show.
Read Nick Gillespie on how Miley Cyrus reveals just how tame pop culture has become.