Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Shit For Me, But Not For Thee

I’ve come to the conclusion that politics isn’t about principle anymore. (shocking, I know). It’s about little more than creating policies and regulations that directly or indirectly benefit your supporters or raise revenue without pissing off your core constituency; perhaps even please some of them, though that probably isn’t a requirement.

In its continuing crackdown on on-air profanity, the FCC has requested numerous tapes from broadcasters that might include vulgar remarks from unruly spectators, coaches and athletes at live sporting events, industry sources said.

Tapes requested by the commission include live broadcasts of football games and NASCAR races where the participants or the crowds let loose with an expletive. While commission officials refused to talk about its requests, one broadcast company executive said the commission had asked for 30 tapes of live sports and news programs.

So government bureaucrats are going to pore over footage so they can score a $325K payday by discovering an F-bomb shouted by some fan during a football game. Holding TV networks responsible for the behavior of millions of spectators – individuals that they have exactly zero authority over – is more than a little ridiculous.

How can the government demand that broadcasters ensure that a dirty word – perhaps one that is barely distinguishable – is never aired on the airwaves during the thousands of live events that take place very year when the Presidents can’t even seem to censor his own speech?

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