Good news for prudes who can’t figure out how to use their remote controls (although an argument could be made that without opposable thumbs, some of these knuckledraggers might have a rough time with the device)- President Bush has your back:
Complaining that television and radio shows in recent years have “too often pushed the bounds of decency,” President Bush signed legislation yesterday to escalate dramatically the penalties against broadcasters who violate federal standards.
“The language is becoming coarser during the times when it’s more likely children will be watching television,” Bush said, citing a study of nighttime programming. “It’s a bad trend, a bad sign.” He noted that complaints to regulators have exploded since he took office. “People are saying, ‘We’re tired of it, and we expect the government to do something about it.’ ”***
The White House decided to showcase the signing of the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act at a time when Bush and Republican congressional allies are trying to reassure disaffected conservative supporters that they remain committed to conservative causes. With midterm elections approaching, Bush recently gave two speeches promoting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the Senate plans to vote on another amendment that outlaws flag burning.
The decency act, coming two years after one of singer Janet Jackson’s breasts was exposed in a “wardrobe malfunction” during a Super Bowl halftime show, increases the maximum penalty for broadcasting indecent material on radio or television between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. from $32,500 to $325,000. The new law does not change the standards of indecency, which is defined as “patently offensive” sexual or excretory content.
Broadcasters and free-speech advocates argue that the legislation attacks expression and unfairly targets broadcast networks while cable and satellite programming remains beyond the reach of federal regulation. The main television networks and affiliates recently sued to challenge the government’s power to regulate on-air content.
Apparently tv ratings, the 0n/off button on remote controls, and the ability to lock channels was not enough- now the public can be protected from the evil menace of ‘indecent’ programming with the threat of massive fines. Mind you, this won’t stop our delicate and perpetually offended friends from viewing something ‘indecent,’ as the fines will come AFTER the ‘offense,’ but it will give Brent Bozell’s wingnut brigade something to champion and a reason to keep sending out fundraising letters. And, after all, defending marriage is a tough job, so now they can feel safe to turn on the tv after a tough day protecting society from the fags. Besides, everyone knows Hollywood hates America, so if we didn’t do this, society would end. Just like Rome.
And this is an election year, so we do have to do something to give the cave-dwellers a reason to come out and vote for the Grand Old Party.
You do remember the Grand Old Party, don’t you? They are the ones who used to champion freedom and personal responsibility.