Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 8:31am
THE FALL SEASON IN TV LEGISLATION
[SOURCE: Human Events, AUTHOR: Brent Bozell, Media Research Center]
[Commentary] This fall, just in time for a slate of new TV shows sure to insult the tastes of millions of viewers, watch for congressional action on a list of potential new television legislation circulating on Capitol Hill to address the public's outrage. The fastest-moving item is a congressional fix for the bizarre Second Circuit court ruling that the networks can't be fined by the Federal Communications Commission for fleeting profanities, since expecting TV executives to employ their own seven-second delay system is supposedly "arbitrary and capricious" regulating, and never mind that a) that is the only reason for which to have a delay, and b) it is the "technology" solution the industry claims makes federal intervention unnecessary. There are other bills in the works. Congressman Dan Lipinski of Chicago is sponsoring a bill pushing to give parents the right to "cable choice," allowing them the right to choose not to subsidize smutty or ultraviolent cable networks like MTV or FX. This version of the bill is picking up prominent sponsors, from leading House conservative Mike Pence to freshman Democrat Heath Shuler, one of those touted Southern moderates. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas is proposing an interesting bill that pushes the FCC to look harder into the next generation of content-blocking devices for parents across all media platforms, from TV to the Internet to wireless communications. Since the Telecommunications Act passed in 1996, the FCC is supposed to keep its eye on emerging new technologies, but Sen. Pryor hopes to "light a fire" under the FCC on this matter.
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