Has TV Gone Too @!$%&! Far?

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That's the question that occasional Reason contributor Drew Clark will be debating on Wednesday at 7PM at an America's Future Foundation roundtable on "broadcast indecency."

Has TV gone too far? What should the government do about it? Should it regulate cable and satellite like it does over-the-air broadcasting, or should it loosen speech restrictions on the latter? And how does media consolidation fit into the indecency debate? Those are the questions we'll be trying to answer at AFF's next roundtable discussion. Speakers will include Drew Clark of the National Journal, former broadcaster Ken Wolfe, and Marvin Johnson of the ACLU. Jerry Brito of AFF will moderate.

Go here for details. Wardrobe malfunctions optional.

Drew Clark's web site here.

NEXT: A Little Thrift

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  1. The description of the topic is revealing. The second question assumes two things: that the answer to the first question is ‘yes’ and that government should do something about it. The debate is shifted to what measures should be taken, rather than whether any should be.
    It doesn’t look like this panel will be a pro-censorship one, so I have to wonder why the description would buy into the presumptions of the censorious.

  2. Dennis Franz’s ass?
    Yes, TV has gone too far.
    Should anything be done about it? Well, we already have the V-Chip and the TV Rating system – what more do these people want?

  3. My questions are as follows:

    Are cars not shiny enough?

    and

    What are the firemen going to do about it?

  4. “What are the firemen going to do about it?”

    What the firemen always did: Burn. I heard some rumor that they once PUT OUT fires, but that’s silly.

  5. Should it regulate cable and satellite like it does over-the-air broadcasting, or should it loosen speech restrictions on the latter?

    Why are these the only two choices? How about do nothing? I see little wrong with the current scheme, overreaction to Janet Jackson notwithstanding.

  6. Maybe the government should develop a vaccine that prevents us from enjoying bad TV.

    The writing crew for the 1st season of 24 would have nothing to fear from this vaccine. The writing crew from the 4th season, on the other hand, would be quaking in their boots.

  7. Should it regulate cable and satellite like it does over-the-air broadcasting, or should it loosen speech restrictions on the latter?

    Welcome to America. The only country in the world where you are so free that you can pay for a premium service like HBO, and then turn around and protest it because Deadwood has to many o’ them thar swear words.

    I hate people.

  8. Well, we already have the V-Chip and the TV Rating system – what more do these people want?

    I dunno, ask Joe. He has a boner to attack anyone against censorship while disclaiming any interest in imposing it, so he might or might not know, but it’s worth a shot.

  9. Hey, remember how last week Cal Thomas said that if you see it on TV then it must be true? And he concluded that 24 is proof positive that we need to torture terrorism suspects?

    Well, last night on 24 we just learned that gay people are a threat to national security. And if you see it on 24 then it must be true!

    The bigger lesson, however, is that our nation is vulnerable to attack by a rogue military pilot who sneaks into an Air Force base and gets into a plane without anybody in the hangar saying “Hey, wait, I don’t know you!”

    Somebody should really do something about that.

    And if we see it on TV then it must be true. Right, Cal Thomas?

  10. Oh, and as a patriotic American I volunteer to torture Mandy (bisexual terrorist chick from 24) when she’s in custody.

    I’ll put her in a really tight leather outfit (guaranteed to be uncomfortable!) and then use whips and chains to punish her for being such a naughty girl.

  11. We’ve had the V-Chip forced into our electronics, so why not “gasp!” de-regulate all this indecency entirely. Just delete that entirely bizarre set of laws, and let the parents decide for themselves what little Johnny or Judy watch. It is their children isn’t it?

    But then again less laws aren’t going to keep the parasites with their daily bread, so I guess we’ll get something that costs more than what we have now. . .

    M.J. Taylor
    Editor
    from Reason to Freedom

  12. That reminds me — is Mandy the younger sister from season 2? Or did she show up earlier this season and I just missed it?

    Back on topic: It’s an outrage!

  13. regulator-

    Mandy is the chick who blew up the airplane in season 1 to steal the ID. Her girlfriend showed up in season 1 with the ID and demanded more money.

    Mandy also gave Palmer the nearly deadly handshake at the end of season 2.

    She shows up in so many plots because she’s a mercenary, and (more importantly) she has a large fan base. She has a large fan base because she made out with another woman in season 1.

  14. thoreau —
    Thanks for the insight. I started watching season 1 about halfway through, so I missed the kissing. I do remember the handshake though. I do think my line of government work would benefit greatly from the addition of mercenaries like her.

  15. Is it my mistake (because I don’t watch it) or does every episode involve a stolen nuclear device that just might explode in exactly 24 hours? Or does it just seem that way from the promos?

    And… er, yes, censorship is way bad.

  16. ed-

    The first season started off with a Presidential candidate who was going to be assassinated within 24 hours. The second started off with a nuclear device that was going to detonate within 24 hours. The third season was a deadly virus that was going to be released within 24 hours.

    This season has been all over the map: Secretary of Defense was kidnapped, then the terrorists got a magical device that can act as a remote control for every nuclear power plant in the US. Then some defense contractors decide to divert suspicion from themselves by setting off an EMP in downtown LA and sending mercenaries to kill a federal agent. (And if that makes no sense to you then you’re not alone.) Then they hired a former military pilot to steal a stealth plane and shoot down Air Force One (and if that seems implausible to you, you’re not alone). Then they stole the nuclear football from the wreckage. Then they used the codes to activate a stolen warhead.

    And if this season seems crazy to you, you’re not alone.

  17. My, how far Kiefer Sutherland has fallen since Dark City…

  18. Thanks, thoreau.
    I counted 3 “nuclear”s in your synopsis.

    I notice that things explode a lot in the promos.
    And it’s really loud and firey all the time.
    And you say there are lesbians too?
    Ai carramba!

  19. Could we have some government intervention to get Brandon & Bragga off Star Trek, and bring back the DS9 / 4400 / Galactica team for a new incarnation of Enterprise?

    Also, I understand that Jack and Bobbie might not be renewed. Is that a question for the legislative or judicial branch?

    Thanks!

  20. Oh, and as a patriotic American I volunteer to torture Mandy (bisexual terrorist chick from 24) when she’s in custody.

    I’ll put her in a really tight leather outfit (guaranteed to be uncomfortable!) and then use whips and chains to punish her for being such a naughty girl.

    Thoreau, you’re a sick, sick perv.

    Be sure to document the event on videotape.

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