The Answer Is: Because It's a Free Country, You Idiot!
"You can always turn the television off and, of course, block the channels you don't want[….] But why should you have to?"
That's the head of the FCC, Kevin Martin, yammering in front of the Senate yesterday on the subject of "decency" on cable and satellite TV and radio. More here. Martin favors "a la carte" pricing of cable channels, on the theory that less objectionable material would come into the very households paying for such content. Given that he also favors extending federal content regulation to cable and satellite, we should recognize his support for a la carte pricing for what it is: an attempt to limit what consumers can watch and listen to.
God forbid Smellivision ever happens–because you know the FCC will be in favor of blocking adult smells too.
[Hat tip: Michael Chernysh]