February 26th, 2004

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12:01 am - on movies I'm going to have to see and things that I hoped I never would...

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on movies I'm going to have to see and things that I hoped I never would... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: danitapgh Date: February 26th, 2004 - 09:50 am (Link)
I would argue that the FCC has more power than it should with less public transparency than it should have. None of the commisioners of the FCC are elected by the public. They are all political appointees. The split of the FCC must be 3 members of one party and 2 members of another. However, what are the other 2 democrat members going to do if the other 3 are republicans? Plus, under this administration many FCC hearings have been private - without congress even getting a chance to hear what is going on. Granted, the FCC has a lot of things it is responsible for - many of the things are highly technical. However, things which affect First Amendment rights should perhaps be broken out of the FCC and placed under a more public body.

Generally, communities are allowed to say what is and isn't indecent in their community. The FCC is taking away the community and state's rights to decide this issue for themselves. Shouldn't the people of New York get to choose whether or not to listen to Howard Stern? Shouldn't the people of Alabama be allowed to decide this issue for themselves? Granted, this is all rolled into the Clear-channel near monopoly problem. However, the FCC should have mechanisms for allowing communities to decide what is and isn't indecent - instead of having one gigantic list for the whole country.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 26th, 2004 - 10:11 am (Link)
addressing several points

make-up of the FCC: its not even fair to say that the parties matter. Its not clear that the democrats are out to help the cause of free speech. For instance, Lieberman (and to a lesser extent Gore) has always been very active in the PTC. That's actually my main reason for not liking him. As you said, if closed hearings are allowed then we have no idea of what is going on. Furthermore, the public has no power to control its own destiny with regard to the airwaves at all.

powers of the FCC: again I agree. The FCC is charged with regulation of the airwaves. In my opinion, the process needs to be revisited to see if its still working since the system is based on a world where the airwaves consisted of a handful of radio stations and now they are mandating TV and Satellite. But the FCC needs to exist. Someone needs to decide who gets what bandwith. When can we stop broadcasting non HDTV-signals? What kinds of licenses do you need in order to use bandwith, etc. But issues of content should be entirely left up to the consumer. If this were print, there wouldn't be any argument. The Supreme Court found that Larry Flint has the right to publish whatever the fuck he wants. If you don't like it, then you don't buy his magazine. Society will self-regulate. If we allow nudity on television for instance, will all shows have Janet Jackson exposing herself? No, they won't. Just like all magazines don't contain Hustler type material. If we leave Howard Stern alone, then his fans will listen to him, and the rest of the world will listen to something else. If we're worried about the children, then we can mandate V-chips be installed in all new radios (like they are in TVs), I have no problem whatsoever with the FCC doing that, and I think it was a good idea when they did it for TV.

Stern's audience: Technically he is still on in NYC. Infinity (a division of Viacomm) owns that station. But the question is for how long. No, actually I don't think the people of NYC and Alabama should be able to control what a station broadcasts... at least not legally. They have the power to turn the channel, or put in a CD, or turn it off altogether. They have a consumer vote. Clear Channel pays money to operate radio stations. So they should be able to simply decide that all 1200 of their stations are all Mormon bible study all the time, if they want to. Of course they'll go out of business really quick. I do have a problem with them being able to own so many of the radio stations (something that the FCC is SUPPOSED to keep from happening, btw). But, that's a completely separate issue.

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