Indecency Update

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The government steps up its war on words.

Amid a widening and increasingly politicized campaign to clean up the nation's airwaves, regulators are proposing fines against many of the nation's major radio companies for carrying well-known "shock jocks," according to Federal Communications Commission officials.

About a dozen cases are being finalized, these officials said, and one target is Howard Stern, one of the nation's most popular and controversial radio hosts.

Stern responds.

Instapundit opposes government regulation of broadcast content, but isn't outraged by the FCC's crackdown on Stern in particular.

OC Weekly explains why even Stern haters should be worried:

It?s not a matter of supporting demeaning, racist or just plain moronic comments. It?s a matter of supporting freedom?and ass rings.

(link via Jeff Jarvis)

NEXT: The libertarian film festival

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  1. What concept of freedom can possibly emerge in regard to a commodity “owned” by the public?

  2. One hundred years ago, “darn” and “heck” were among the words that no decent person would ever say in public. Now they’ve become so acceptable that even schoolteachers may use them, and yet civilization as we know it did not come to a screeching halt. If we survived heck and darn, I’m sure we can handle ‘fuck’ and ‘nigger’ too.

    What part of the First Amendment does the FCC not understand?

  3. Jennifer asks:
    “What part of the First Amendment does the FCC not understand?”

    I think the answer is the “fuck” and “nigger” part.

  4. Fuck, fucking, fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck!

    Say it while you still can.

    Remember, there are more than a few people who think the public “owns” the internet, too.

  5. “Howard? John Galt here. We have to talk…”

  6. Freedom is only for descent Americans, don’t you know?

    :-

  7. it seems as though those like glenn reynolds who are dismissing stern’s situation are missing an important point. stern’s show may be puerile, disgusting, and in violation of any decency standard that could be concocted, no matter how loose. but he’s also this radio generation’s canary in the coal mine. like lenny bruce and others before him, stern’s show basically establishes the outer bounds of what can be done in broadcast media. cracking down on stern, and taking away his capacity to expand this boundary, is likely to have a chilling effect on all broadcast media. and make it more boring. howard stern’s balls!

  8. Brian,

    Grow up.

    Hit and Run is beginning to seem more like a bunch of high school sophomores trying to see how much they can offend their parents. I thought libertarianism was about freedom and responsibility, not just freedom. The magazine is becoming a lot more libertine than libertarian.

  9. Civil disobedience is a motherfucker!

    I think Howard Stern can make a difference. There seems to be a low intelligence/maturity presence in the base listeners of Sterns. It is quite likely that they will continue to listen to Stern and do as he says. Why? Cause Howard is cool, man!

  10. If broadcast media is truly about to get more boring than Stern’s show, we’re in a lot of trouble.

    I have trouble getting myself worked up about regulation of a “publicly-owned” medium like radio or broadcast TV. When they come for cable TV and the internet, I’ll be worried.

  11. A threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. BA BA BOOEY! BA BA BOOEY!

  12. Hey adult,

    [censored] you, you condescending piece of [censored]!!!

    See, that is so much better leaving it up to the imagination.

    Don’t forget to contribute to the thought police while you are at it.

    Steve

    🙂

  13. Jim Walsh,

    I wouldn’t take that call. John Galt is apt to ramble on and on and on for 3 hours or 100 pages… whichever comes last.

  14. I gave up on public airwaves long ago; Internet and satellite radio are the way to go. When they start fucking with those 2, that’s when you have a story.

  15. Brady, the point is, if you allow them to take over the “public airwaves” to that extent, it’s not much further to take over the “private airwaves.”

  16. First they came for Stern and i did not speak out because i was not Stern. Etc.

  17. Brady – How does content get to and from a satellite? Is that an electomagnetic signal? Does it travel through air? Who owns the air?

  18. Right, Public. And, more importantly, who gets the satellites in space in the first place?

  19. Your answer is I pay a subscription fee for those signals to be displayed in my house. A lot of the argument is that the public airwaves is a twist of the dial away from sensitive ears (Christians and children). Most say if you don’t want satellite or the internet, don’t pay for it and it won’t affect yoru home.

    I don’t see a slippery slope here, thought i do think that the line should be monitored to make sure it is not crossed.

  20. Adult,

    Way to miss the point entirely.

    Oh, and…what Steve said.

  21. I hate election years.

    I also wish there was more support for free market solutions to these problems. But the Republicans only seem to embrace free markets when it doesn’t offend the christian wing of the party.

  22. I hate election years.

    I also wish there was more support for free market solutions to these problems. But the Republicans only seem to embrace free markets when it doesn’t offend the christian wing of the party.

  23. “Your answer is I pay a subscription fee for those signals to be displayed in my house.”

    It is only because the government allows certain bandwidths to be used in the airspace over the US that you get those signals.

    “A lot of the argument is that the public airwaves is a twist of the dial away from sensitive ears (Christians and children). Most say if you don’t want satellite or the internet, don’t pay for it and it won’t affect yoru home.”

    Exactly. Nobody is forced to have a radio, much less listen to anything in particular that’s on the radio. Why should those who wish to listen to something in the privacy of their own homes be banned from doing so because some people don’t like it? I mean, I’m offended by Focus on the Family, but what are the odds the FCC would fine them or threaten their carriers and their ability to conduct business?

    “I don’t see a slippery slope here, thought i do think that the line should be monitored to make sure it is not crossed.”

    The slippery slope is that the “line” is not stationary. It moves all the time, with little to no notice, and the cost of crossing that moving line gets higher and higher (the maximum individual fine was just multiplied by 100, to $275,000). At least with Calvinball, EVERYONE gets to make up the rules as they go.

  24. “I also wish there was more support for free market solutions to these problems. But the Republicans only seem to embrace free markets when it doesn’t offend the christian wing of the party.”

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the Republican party always crows about how Democrats want the government’s fingers in everyone’s pies, yet they pull shit like this?

  25. more on stern’s redeeming social importance: did anyone listen to stern in the bad old days of the O.J. simpson trial? what about on and after 9/11? stern’s show has much material of questionable taste, but he also tackles serious issues. i happen to think that the hypocrisy regarding sex and sexual desire in our society is a worthy topic to obssess about, so that i think even his lowest common denominator stuff is important. and it often makes me laugh. but the point is, there is a political component to his show, whether the topic de jour is anal ring toss or foreign policy. the sexual taboos he breaks–why is that not political speech, and hence protected? can anyone argue that sex is not politicized, or that his show does not comprise a commentary on contemporary sexual politics? i hope against all hope that he and viacom are brave enough to challenge this. i’m very disappointed to see stern sold down the river because people find his show to be in bad taste, or because he happens have a program on “publicly owned” airwaves. our culture has politicized sex, not stern. he’s making a buck off it, but it’s the religious right and totalitarian left that have set the agenda–stern’s criticizing it. protect that!

  26. Howard Stern is a whiny hypocrite.

    Firstly, he made his fortune by violating the very standards that he now rails against. Without those arbitrary restriction shock jocks would never get that “you can’t say that on the radio!” reaction that they depend on. No FCC broadcast standards, no Howard Stern. He’s been fined in the past and reveled in it.

    Secondly, he broadcast in a public space the exclusive use of which he gets for practically free on the understanding he will adhere to certain standards. If he or Clear Channel had purchased the broadcast spectrum in an open auction with no attached conditions he could complain that his rights are infringed but he knew the rules when he accepted the state’s largess.

    When you take the people’s money, you take the people’s oversight. Stern’s just another whiny corporate welfare queen.

  27. The line demarcation is subscription service fees. If you can pick it up unscrambled for free, chances are somebody is going to regulate the shit out of it. If they don’t fuck with subscription services I can live with it (though find American mainstream culture to by hypocritical morons).

    Technology will allow us to innovate our way to new, unregulated forms of media. Let them have the broacast bullshit and keep the fight strong to keep their hands off pay services.

  28. shannon, i think you may be confused about who the corporate welfare queen is. if you have a problem with the way the airwaves are officiated, take it up with the FCC or with Viacom or ClearChannel. the standards which howard stern is supposed to adhere to are laughably vague. in fact, his broadcasts are probably the most important factor in giving any concreteness to those standards over the past decade or two. vague standards lead to selective enforcement. that’s what’s happenning here. for whatever reason, the FCC (probably with the blesssing of the executive) has decided that now is a propitious time to go after certain kinds of broadcasting. arbitrary in timing, arbitrary in target in selection. they have that power. if you feel as though the people are wielding it, then power to you. i do not, nor do i think they should have this vast arbitrary power based on an outdated mandate over the airwaves and absurdly vague standards.

  29. Soon the Internet will be as ubiquitously available through wireless means as radio or television, through licensed as well as unlicensed spectrum, and radio and television will be available through the wireless Internet. Ultimately, all broadcasts will occur in the unlicensed spectrum.

    It will be interesting to see if the government gets its foot far enough in the door by bringing pressure to bear on the communications companies who will live in both the unlicensed and licensed spectrum while the transition is occurring to ruin it for everyone, long after their purpose of regulating a scarce resource has any validity whatsoever.

  30. > There seems to be a low intelligence/maturity
    > presence in the base listeners of Sterns.

    Sure, Stern has many “unintelligent”, “immature” fans. So does Jay Leno. So does David Letterman. But who’s funnier?
    He’s not even a “shock jock” anymore, as anyone who actually listens to the show could attest. A “shock jock” is someone like the idiot who recently got canned for airing a couple having sex in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Stern would never have done that: perhaps just because he would realize that’s not funny, but sometimes he also knows the limits of good taste.
    And yes, the show is political too. In fact it has the most reasonable politics of any radio or tv show I know. He supports guns. He supports gays. He’s against the drug war.
    I found him offensive too about five years ago–until I actually started listening to the show regularly. He’ll probably get canned now too, due to the current political climate, and I don’t feel sorry for him in any way (he is after all, really, really rich), but wouldn’t you rather have someone like him set the outer boundary of what’s tasteful than say, the American Family Council?

  31. > why everyone should support Stern?…It?s a matter of supporting freedom?…

  32. I know nothing about Stern’s broadcasts, so I’m in no position to argue whether it violates the FCC’s decency standards. But having studied the recent increase in government attacks on free speech, I do know this: The definition of “protected speech” is getting narrower, thanks to aggressive regulatory policies coupled with the non-intervention of the courts. We started to see this with the “commercial speech” doctrine created by the Supreme Court. Antitrust law has further reduced protected speech by excluding the mere exchange of information among individuals arbitrarily deemed “competitors” by the FTC and DOJ.

    What the FCC is doing now is not about Howard Stern. It’s about the FCC giving itself greater power to reduce the scope of “protected speech”.

  33. Last week on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart said “Fuckers” and the station hands forgot to bleep it. The next Monday, they opened up the show with a funny apology. The best part was, afterwards he said they had not recieved a fax, email, phone call or letter regarding the gaffe. At least low-brow cable is still safe.

  34. Someone reportedly said “fuck” on Laura Ingraham’s radio show yesterday.

    It’ll be interesting to see if she gets held to the same standard.

  35. the daily show is NOT lowbrow!

    it’s hard for me to understand why self-proclaimed libertarians would be reluctant to support stern, even if they find his show disgusting. as an astute poster noted above, stern is the most libertarian public figure, at least with a pulpit, out there. anti gun-control, hates government intervention except when national defense matters, mercilessly mocks the drug war and other government excess and hypocrisy. he supports political candidates based on their positions on the isues (except when they piss him off), and he gives just about any luminary with the balls the opportunity to come on his show. so what if among the other questions they have to answer are ones about anal sex with their wives or whether they shave down there? in fact, the very juxtaposition of serious politics with those “shock” questions is a commentary on cultural taboos and false propriety. obviously, i love howard stern. like a father, actually…i’ve been listening to him for 17 years, since i was 12 years old, and no other figure has contributed more to my own ideological and political development. so i’m biased. but doesn’t anyone see what i’m talking about? doesn’t anyone else see HOWARD STERN’s BIG HAIRY BALLS when they close their eyes at night?

  36. dani,
    I love the Daily Show, but it definitely pushes the low-brow envelope. A show cn be intelligent and low-brow at the same time. Takei saying “Hot, Wet Bitches” over and over again is low-brow, not to mention funny as shit.

  37. I hate to say it, but Howard Stern has probably a keener grasp on the heart of the matter than people here. This has nothing to do with free market solutions, because this isn’t a battle of dollars. Stern rakes in HUGE profits yet he’s still in danger of being taken out. Why?

    Because the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is taking over. Ok, I’m kidding. But not much. Ignorant family-obsessed conservatives are becoming highly organized from the top down. Nothing gets people into the voting booths and politically active family and church groups like ANGER. And the right has always been great at riling up massive amounts of anger with “culture war” rhetoric.

    Libertarians and Lefties tend to be ineffectual intellectuals. They try to *reason* (heh) with the opposition, as if thats going to achieve anything. There is absolutely no leadership, and no sense of how to drum up righteous anger. If that doesn’t change real goddamn fast, Bush is back for another 4.

  38. Howard Stern is a whiny hypocrite.

    Firstly, he made his fortune by violating the very standards that he now rails against.

    OK, just for the record, both violating and railing against the standards is not hypocrisy. It’s consistency.

  39. Phil,

    “OK, just for the record, both violating and railing against the standards is not hypocrisy. It’s consistency.”

    You missed my point. I argue that the FCC decency standards served as Stern’s straight man, the Abbott to his Costello. The shock of Shock jocks arises from their violation of some accepted norm. No norm, no standards, no shock, no Howard Stern.

    Stern is a hypocrite because he built his career smacking the FCC in the face with pie repeatedly for extremely profitable laughs. Well, his straight man finally got mad and walked away.

  40. dani,

    I am aware that Stern does not hold broadcast license directly. I don’t think that matters. He knew that he worked in a public space. He knew the broadcasters that hosted his show received their spectra virtually free in exchange for adhering to certain standards. He has benefited directly from the exclusive use of public property that he did not pay anything approaching a market rate for. He’s a welfare queen.

    Is selective enforcement a problem? Yes. Are the standards arguably vague? Yes. Did Howard Stern know all this when he signed on? Yes.

  41. Shannon Love wrote –
    “Where did we develop this strange idea that a person who speaks has all the choices and the person listening has none?”

    You have a choice. Plenty of choices. Change the damned channel. Your “park” analogy is specious at best. I don’t recall having heard Stern (or Limbaugh or any other shock jock for that matter) more than three times in the last 10 years or so & i live near the same “park”. None of Andrew’s streakers there either. Do Stern haters have antennae sticking out their temples which forces them to recieve all of Howard’s BS ? And further your argument, if President John Kerry made a “political decision” to ban Rush Limbuagh that would be OK by you, right ? Plenty of people are offended by whatever it is he does. Some probably believe that it “crosses the line”. And he satisfies your brand new & newly inclusive definition of welfare queen, too.
    Fact is, people want to censor stuff they disapprove of but, given the First Amendment & public opinion, feel the need to invent basis that avoid the appearance of Censorship.

  42. “Thus, Stern becomes Judas, too, by his kiss,
    that kiss of death to Kerry”

    So if Kerry wins what does Stern thus become ? Mel Gibson ?

  43. > if President John Kerry made a “political decision” to ban Rush Limbuagh

  44. No, it has not. Shannon was yammering about the appropriateness of the “political decision” regarding Stern & Kerry banning Rush qualifies as positing a scare scenario based on Shannon’s line of argument. But you knew that, didnt you ?
    Isn’t it wonderful when people act as though they didn’t “get it” ?

  45. Are any of Sterns problems or even any of the FCC’s new found gestapoism a result of Bush policies?

    Just wondering.

  46. The partisan blame game is a big distraction here. Anybody who watched the congressional hearings on Janetgate saw 99% of the members of both parties tripping over each other to express outage and to call for more fines, more regulation, and more censorship… and cable is next. D’s and R’s… there’s no fucking difference on this issue.

  47. > Isn’t it wonderful when people act as though they didn’t “get it” ?

  48. None of that stuff rhymes, dj? WTF?

    Anyway, great comments by SM and Jennifer. This public ownership of the airwaves is crap. The term “public ownership” is in use because the FCC charges license fees for stations above a certain transmitter output power to use a frequency band. This is wrong to begin with. It was probably originally a way for the Feds to make money (back before the IRS), while at the same time providing some order for the growth of commercial broadcasting.

    It’s not necessary anymore, especially as things go back from wireless to wired. The FCC should be eliminated, along with a lot of other agencies with 4-letter or 3-letter bad names (some are so bad you can’t even say them over the air anymore … but I will anyway: IRS, FAA, TSA motherfucker, cocksucker, piss, cunt.* )

    *George Carlin

  49. Shannon Love justified her pro-censorship comments with the remark that Howard STern never paid for the right to use the airwaves. So let me see if I understand her correctly–one is only justified in free speech if one pays for it? Jesus Christ on crack.

    What dollar amount would Ms. Love and those of her ilk suggest as a mandatory minimum?

  50. Shannon and DJ–

    I actually have a different, more concise question. Why is Howard Stern’s right to free speech less important than your presumed right to nothave to change a radio station to avoid listening to something you hate, and where exactly does the Constitution grant you that right?

    I don’t actually expect an answer.

  51. > I don’t actually expect an answer.

  52. DJ–

    I am talking about Howard Stern’s radio show, which doesn’t cost you a dime. But do you seriously suggest that if any cable subscriber is offended by any cable show, then the show should be cancelled? If so, exactly what shows do you think will still be on the air, once every single cable subscriber gets the right to hold any show hostage any time he wants?

    Serious question: I have long been offended by those bigoted Christian cable shows saying that I am going to go to Hell just because I don’t worship Jay-zus. I know that lots of other cable subscribers feel the same way I do. So do you think that Christian cable should be forced to go off the air, or at least stop saying that non-Christians are in for an eternity of Hell? Remember: those Christians aren’t merely offending me, they’re actually threatening me.

    And yet I manage, because my three-digit IQ enables me to master use of the “Channel change” button. I rock.

  53. Jennifer,

    “You guys here who are seriously claiming that you should have the “freedom” to not have to listen to Howard Stern”

    Yes, I have the right not listen to anybody. Where did we develop this strange idea that a person who speaks has all the choices and the person listening has none? Shades of A Clockwork Orange.

    You make the same argument as telemarketers, spammers and junk mailers. They say, “I have a right to free speech so I get to contact you all I want and it is your responsibility to assume the cost in time and money to process or avoid my free speech. My right of free speech trumps your right to choose what you see and hear!”

    Howard Stern operates in a shared public space that he did not pay for. It’s analogous to a situation where the state lets him have the exclusive use of an area of public park for him to do a stand up routine and sell adverting on the understanding he would follow certain decency standards. He then proceeds to intentionally violate those standards in order to draw larger crowds. Say, I don’t want my children to hear his sexist, racist ramblings.

    Your solution? Don’t go to the park. Stern’s right to hurl verbal feces trumps my right to visit the shared communal space of the park. A park my taxes pay for. Worse, since the decision to allow Stern in the park in the first place is a political decision he has the implied imprimatur of the polity.

    The decision on who gets the exclusive use of one part of the broadcast spectrum is currently a political decision. Broadcaster operate in the “public trust” under the supervision of the state. The state grants to Clear Channel the exclusive use of this spectra basically free on the understanding that it will follow politically defined rules. Stern and other broadcast content providers do not and never did have complete freedom of speech. They always operated under political restraint just like a public utility. A political decision has been made to tighten the standards under which he operated. Now he’s crying.

  54. Stern has done it, called himself Jesus.
    He babbles on about the religious right
    being out to get him, and to get back,
    Stern is going to “out” Bush in 2004,
    by throwing his full support to Kerry.

    Thus, Stern becomes Judas, too, by his kiss,
    that kiss of death to Kerry, of his support.
    There stands Kerry with Michael Moore on one cheek,
    and when Kerry turns the other, there’s Howard.

    All Kerry needs now is bizarre Willy Nelson
    supporting him in order to smoke pot on the White House, again.

    Howard needs to convince the FCC that he has to be as is,
    for he couldn’t compete without being a ‘shock’ jock,
    and shock means being racial, sexually perverted,
    adolesence fart faced with freaks and retards around,
    and calling them that to their face.

    The FCC has to realize that we already live in an age
    of Stern humor, Springer drama, psychic hotlines,
    get rich by lottery, wrestling heroics and threatrics,
    and drugs to get you up, and down, and hard.
    Americans can’t hack it without help from without.

  55. You guys here who are seriously claiming that you should have the “freedom” to not have to listen to Howard Stern say those oh-so-naughty words. . .did you read the “Brickbat” posted a couple of days ago on this very site? Thailand banned certain songs, but insisted that it wasn’t a matter of freedom of speech, it was about freedom to not have to listen to offensive words. I take it you approve?

    And for those of you who insist that if you pay for cable you should have the right to insist a show be taken off: in other words, the only things that can be on cable are the things that offend NOBODY? Jesus Christ on acid, people.

    On a similar posting a few days ago I asked “DJ of Raleigh” a question which he/she never answered, so let me try again:

    When and how did you become so goddamned important that YOUR taste trumps that of others, so that those who WANT to listen to Howard Stern must have this wish denied, lest you be required to waste a second of your oh-so-important life changing the goddam station?

  56. Forgot to mention that I do NOT like Howard Stern, I think he’s a lowbrow asshole, but I never felt the need to go whining to the authorities about how Howard’s anti-woman screed hurt my widdle feelings.

  57. DJ,
    I don’t think that your issue with the Stern show is a freedom of speach issue. I think it is just a customer service issue. I had a basketball channel inbetween TMC and showtime, that I couldn’t not get, and it irritated me, because I don’t like basketball. But that is not a civil liberties issue.

    The issue is that the government is trying to control what is being said, through fines and prosecution. That I believe is specifially unconstitutional. The FCC is not giving fines the clear channel for not having pleasing channel choices, it is because they feel they are there to protect Americans from hearing or seeing something offensive.

  58. Jennifer,
    I am with you on the bigoted christian channels. I am offended the way they talk about other religions, even the other religions that I don’t like. But as offended as one can get, it is their fault for not changing the channel.

  59. another small missive on behalf of stern:

    i think that shannon and others who have brought up the public park analogy have made interesting theoretical points. on paper, the public airwaves are public, i guess. the reality is that they’re administered by a bureaucracy, a part of the executive. the FCC responds to political opinion, whether it’s a president’s personal campaign or the consensus congressional taste. any action it takes it takes is likely to have political interest. when FCC action is as brazen as the coordinated attack it’s currently persecuting against the sexually and racially explicit market segment of talk radio, that should disturb any proponent of free and open speech. describing current events in terms of a theoretical public radio “park” is misleading, at best. arguing that this action is acceptable because the target is radio, which is public and free as in lunch, rather than for-pay cable, is specious. the FCC could carry out an attack on any media it deemed worthy. this is the front line, that’s all. first they came for howard stern’s huge hairy balls…

  60. Why are all my fellow-libertarians not spewing the beverage of their choice over their keyboards at the obnocious contention that the EM spectrum is the property of the government ?! IMHO, the inventors of radio-telegraphy, broadcasting and radio-telephony had a helluva beter claim to ownership. Governments nationalized spectrum so that their navies could operate radio without interference from private stations, and the dominant model for broadcasting outside of the U.S. was, until recently, government monopoly. The contention that what early radio pioneers discovered should be a commons, rather than property gained from the old Lockean “mixing of labor” ought to at least have to be argued. Usually it is just stated as a self-evident truth.

    Only political pressure from the thousands of operators whose sets were, in effect, nationalized during WWI scared the Feds into allowing private, even amateur, radio back into the picture after the Great War.

    Recent auctions for licenses for certain parts of the spectrum aside, broadcasters do not have to pay the government any rent for spectrum. The requirement that they “broadcast in the public interest” both obligates over-the-air TV & radio outlets to follow decency rules, air public service announcements and community service programs, and relieves them of any fees dues.

    ATTN: dj:

    I can’t believe you can’t channel-block the Stern TV show, or use a V-chipped TV to block all shows that might offend you. If you think it unfair that the channels on the “free tier” of your cable service cannot be customized, tough noogies. Consider what Adam Thierer wrote:

    “Of course, another way to look at this issue is through the prism of property rights. Cable operators own their networks and have the right to charge whatever they want for service, even if it wasn’t as good as it is today. No one has an inalienable right to cheap video programming. Consumers voluntarily sign up for cable service and if they’re dissatisfied for any reason with it they can go get a satellite dish or just watch over-the-air broadcast television.” *

    No Stern on the radio in my town, not on my TV, either. I guess I’m just lucky.

    Kevin

    *from http://www.cato.org/tech/tk/030725-tk.html

  61. > Cable operators own their networks and have the right to charge whatever they want for service, even if it wasn’t as good as it is today. No one has an inalienable right to cheap video programming. Consumers voluntarily sign up for cable service and if they’re dissatisfied for any reason with it they can go get a satellite dish or just watch over-the-air broadcast television.”

  62. Jennifer asked me–>I am talking about Howard Stern’s radio show, which doesn’t cost you a dime. But do you seriously suggest that if any cable subscriber is offended by any cable show, then the show should be cancelled?

  63. > But do you seriously suggest that if any cable subscriber is offended by any cable show, then the show should be cancelled?

    People who want Stern on CABLE, can pay for it,
    just as people who want preaching channels,
    should pay for it, or BET, or ESPN, or MTV, etc.

    IF Jerry Falwell or Home Shopping Network
    wants to give their show to Cablevision,
    that doesn’t mean I should PAY for the service
    and get the shows on my cable.
    Let me pay for the cable and the shows I want.

    And if the cable company loads up twenty FREE channels
    and calls it the basic channel that I HAVE to have
    to add on the additional channels I want, then bull,
    it isn’t free at all, because it takes $30+ to get that.
    Does Springer, Stern, the preacher man, profit from it,
    YES. YES, they profit from me. I want a la carte cable.

  64. dj, I’m with you on the franchise shenanigans. There are, or have been, jurisdictions where customers could choose, not just between 1 cable operator and 1 or 2 dish providers, but between at least 2 cable providers. Lobby your local regulators to open up your market to multiple operators. Yeah, I know that might be pretty hopeless in some areas, but we frequently get to choose between cable modem, DSL and dish for our internet access, so why not alternate cable providers?

    Kevin

  65. EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    IP: 148.223.52.81
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/20/2004 05:38:10
    People are exponentially funnier when they’re in rant mode.

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