Thursday, June 15, 2006

The GOP cares about clean air?!!

WASHINGTON - President Bush signed legislation Thursday that will cost broadcasters dearly when raunchy programming exceeds “the bounds of decency.”

Raunchy programming that stays within the bounds of decency, however, is perfectly acceptable.

Seriously, though, whose bounds of decency are we talking about here? Bush's? If that's the case, then which of his standards are we going with: the pseudo-Christian moral posturing he pretends to be about, or the hypocritical, kill-em-and-let-God-sort-em-out, screw-the-poor moral bounds that he's actually about? Jeez, anybody got a flowchart?

At a signing ceremony for the new law increasing by tenfold the maximum fine for indecency, Bush said that it will force industry figures to “take seriously their duty to keep the public airwaves free of obscene, profane and indecent material.”

The duty of industry figures isn't to keep the airwaves clean; their duty is to make a profit! Such tough clean-air regulations serve only to undermine unfettered capitalistic innovation. Well, it works for corporate polluters, right?

Accompanying the president at the ceremony was a crowd of lawmakers who worked to pass the bill in Congress.

Because they didn't have anything better to do that day, like debate critical anti-terrorism or economic legislation that would affect real Americans.

For raunchy talk or a racy show of skin, the Federal Communications Commission can now fine a broadcaster up to $325,000 per incident.

The fines collected from these infractions will be put into a special fund earmarked to promote violence on television. Because bloodshed is fine, as long as we don't hear the victim curse in the process or see the bullet actually hit their nipple.

Approval of the bill culminates a two-year effort to get tough on sexually explicit material and offensive language on radio and television following Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction.”

As I recall, the FCC took less than 24 hours to investigate Nipplegate, while 9/11 sat around unchecked for about two years. Maybe if Mohammed Atta had flashed the pilots or something...

The FCC recently denied a petition of reconsideration from CBS Corp.-owned stations facing $550,000 in fines over the Jackson incident, in which she briefly revealed a breast during a halftime concert.

CBS should've been fined for airing such a dumb medley of songs in the first place. The breast was a superfluous sight in that Medusa of a show.

The agency recently handed down its biggest fine, $3.3 million, against more than 100 CBS affiliates that aired an episode of the series “Without a Trace” that simulated an orgy scene. That fine is now under review.

You know what's sad about this? If the orgy participants had just spilled blood instead of other bodily fluids, then there would be no fine. Indeed, that would be a celebration of every Murrikan's right to bear arms!

The FCC has received increasing complaints about lewd material over the airwaves, and has responded with fines jumping from $440,000 in 2003 to almost $8 million in 2004.

That's more than an 18-fold increase! Clearly, the FCC is serious about catering to their constituents, the decency-craving American public. Or at least, the fractional contingent of those who regularly complain to the FCC that Ricki's Lake is a little too wet for their taste.

If that's the case, then maybe we need to mobilize a group of people to consistently petition the FCC with such letters as, "I just watched the latest episode of [favorite show]. I thought the show was great, and had no complaints." Maybe if we send enough of those, the FCC will realize that maybe the highly vocal Decency Freaks don't speak for all of us.

I doubt that would work, though. If being in school taught me anything, it's that administrators want any excuse to make standards more stringent. It gives them something to do to take their minds off the emptiness of their purpose-driven lives.

“The problem we have is that the maximum penalty that the FCC can impose under current law is just $32,500 per violation,” Bush said. “And for some broadcasters, this amount is meaningless. It’s relatively painless for them when they violate decency standards.”

I agree. This is America, and it's not fair that the moneyed elite should be allowed to buy themselves out of trouble. Who knows, this ruling might even set a precedent against corporate criminals, crooked politicians, drug-addicted radio blowhards and treasonous White House advisors.

Ha ha...just kidding! Here's to voluntary regulations!

The bill does not apply to cable or satellite broadcasts, and does not try to define what is indecent.

How can such a draconian bill have no defining standards? Well, not to worry--the right-wing Decency Police should fill in the gaps quite nicely.

The FCC says indecent material is that which contains sexual or excretory material that does not rise to the level of obscenity.

I guess that means a turd is fine if it's depicted in a church toilet, or if a married couple is heard saying, "Oh, darn! Darn! Darn!" in the dark? Why, that isn't confusing or abritrary in the least!

The legislation, while facing little resistance in Congress, had detractors warning of problems in defining what is indecent and of the erosion of First Amendment rights.

However, it is well-known that these so-called "detractors" easily fall into the category of indecency, which is why they're never interviewed for articles such as these. Not that the press really needs any regulatory help in that area.

Under FCC rules and federal law, radio and over-the-air television stations may not air obscene material at any time, and may not air indecent material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. when children are more likely to be in the audience.

Yes, we do it for the children. We do lots of things for the children, because apparently parents don't do things for the children anymore. Now that I'm 26, the government is being more strict of a parent than my actual parents ever were at any point in my childhood? Somehow, I find something amiss with that. Granted, 1980s shows weren't nearly as raunchy as the ones on now, and boundaries continue to disintegrate at a breakneck pace.

This trend makes me yearn for the golden days when television was completely safe--you know, when Milton Berle dressed in drag, comedians performed in inoffensive blackface and the Flintstones smoked Winstons. At least back then, parents had the good sensibilities to put their hands over their kids' eyes whenever someone uttered the word "pregnant." Back then it was all about rugged individualism, and there was none of this fancy-pants gubmint interference!

Wow, I almost sound like a Republican. You know, the old kind who believed in minimal government, a strong individual dynamic and all that character-building stuff.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, broadcast programming has too often pushed the bounds of decency,” Bush said. “The language is becoming coarser during the times when it’s more likely children will be watching television. It’s a bad trend, a bad sign.”

Does this mean that all future Bush speeches (and FOX News) will instantly disappear from the airwaves? Because those are two forms of expression I find incredibly indecent and obscene.

I'm seriously tired of the GOP worrying about such issues when there're so many more pertinent things to handle. It's as if their goal is to have the most well-behaved, God-fearing and virgin-eared population ever to be pummeled by terrorism and economic collapse.

Pardon me, but fuck you. Before you try to shape the airwaves into your own personal Jerry Falwell infomercial, why don't you try working on what some of the voters elected you to do, like keeping our country safe, figuring out ways to control the spiraling deficit, reducing poverty and repairing relations with the rest of the world? By the time you've proved your mettle in that respect, I'll probably be too old to see my TV screen anyway.

Any word of a fine in that legislation for misplaced priorities?


Hillary For President said...

That what you say confuse me Ian. It sound like you thing they're should be more violense on TV and no fines for it.

It well-documented that violense on TV cause kids too be violense and grow up too find selfs in jale.

how you can support?

very conrfuse.

I am long time reeder and very dissappoint today.

Please remember too vote hillary for president.

Robert Taylor said...

Who is this bumbling moron? Anyways, I was hearing about this yesterday on tv. Goddamn shame.

Ian McGibboney said...

HFP, give it up. Everyone knows you're a joke. I did the same shtick almost two years ago, except without the obvious misspellings. Even Babelfish is better than that. Anyway, your profile looks like it was written with Ann Coulter's sense of perspective.

Robert, let me guess...coverage was favorable?

BeerMan said...






Ian McGibboney said...

Hi BeerMan. Took you long enough to recover from that beatdown I gave you almost two years ago, huh?

And no, I have no idea who HFP is. But you two seem to be on a similar intellectual level.

Speechie said...

Ian, isn't it interesting how you always get told to "get a life" by people who really have no evidence of having lives themselves? Good post. I've been busy and haven't been paying attention to the news lately so this was a little wakeup call for me. And being an advertising executive, I'm especially concerned with the FCC. And you're right about the amount of violence on television. I know it's a constant debate in the advertising and broadcast industries. Do we show the gruesome death or not? Do we show super sexy, half-naked girls or not? Of course, I am all for tuning it all down to a moderate level. I've always felt that as violence and sexuality become more popular, creativity becomes less valued. I'd really like it if all of our industries could get back to the days of Double-Bubble and the original LIFE cereal commercials "He likes it, hey Mikey!" and force the FCC to make money somewhere else. Maybe this could be the start of something useful. Maybe.

Cajun Tiger said...

Ian...if I may, I'd like to apologize for the idiot above...while I obviously disagree with you 99.9% of the time, such language is just completely useless and as Speechie says proves who has no life or the ability to debate with adults.

I am the pope of the Internet said...

Speechie is hot. I hope FCC regulations won't prevent her from being on TV wearing suggestive outfits. I do not speak Italian, but I am very good with the metric system. See usually women are turned off when men tell them about their weeners, but when you talk about it in centimeters, that's when they get turned on. "Centi" means one hundredth, so "centimeter" means one hundredth of a meter. It is really that simple. The rest of the world uses the metric system. If you were to start telling an African about "inches" and "feet," he would put a spear through you.

Ian McGibboney said...

You see, this is why I'm not Catholic.

Pope Friday XIII said...

If you are not attracted to lovely women such as Speechie and Janet Jackson, then it is clear which way you swing. You are not welcome on my Internet. Prepare for excommunication.

Any further communication between Speechie and myself shall be in...let's just say, a romance language, if you catch my drift.

Ian McGibboney said...

I hope so. I'd hate for this thread to get even more wildly off-track than it already is.

Nick said...

Hey Speechie, I'm actually going to compliment Ian/Icon on something that IS very funny, his responses to the troll.

I especially like the response:

"You see, this is why I'm not Catholic."

Also liked the last response.

Of course, Ian hates it when his comments veer away from the point of the post. I remember him getting a bit irritated when Phizz and I started talking about stocks and investments in a comments section where the post had nothing to do with the such.