Last Tuesday, in an attempt to make people forget how little the United States Senate actually does, the Senate Commerce Committee conducted an almost orgasmic all day forum on "indecency".
One of the star witnesses was Federal Communications Commission Chair Kevin Martin.
Now from reading what I just wrote above, you might think that I’m a big government, regulate everything liberal.
Kevin Martin told what passes for adult supervision in the Senate that, "Parents need better and more tools to help them navigate the entertainment waters, particularly on cable and satellite TV."
What parents need is to control what their kids are watching on TV and listening to on the radio. In order to do that, there are two "tools" they need.
The tuner. And the power switch. And the will to enforce their own considered opinions about what’s right and wrong for their children.
They also need to be able to explain what’s right and wrong when the inevitable happens and their kids actually watch or hear something they should not have. That’s what being a parent is all about.
And, Kevin. In case you’ve been spending too much time trying to stamp out "indecency" to remember, the conservative position is to keep the government OUT of those decisions and the liberal position would be for more regulation. You can look it up. They taught you how to do that between basketball games at North Carolina, didn’t they?
Kevin Martin is a 38-year-old lawyer whose qualifications for his position may or may not be in a league with former FEMA chief Michael Brown. But after telling the Senate, "You can always turn the television off and of course block the channels you don’t want, but why should you have to?" it’s possible the next words out of W’s mouth should be, "Marty…you’re doing a helluva job."
Kevin. The reason that that you should probably be in a position to turn the television off and block the channels you don’t want your children to see is called personal choice.
In case they didn’t teach you this between sessions at the Dean Dome, we have lost hundreds of thousands of American soldiers fighting for the right to have parents make decisions about raising their own children.
What Martin wants is for the government to force cable and satellite providers to allow parents to pick and choose what channels to buy in the first place. The problem is that cable and satellite providers are in business to make money. And if there was any huge demand for that service, do you really think that your friendly pay TV provider would not already be doing that?
What Martin is doing is pandering.
We’ve expended more than a little ink and newsprint writing about this issue.
If parents want to control what their kids watch and listen to, they already have the tools they need. As we pointed out earlier, the tuner and the power switch are great tools. As is the parental willingness to say, "No!". And the parental ability to explain why.
And, once again, we would point out that the companies which distribute everything from Desperate Housewives to American Idol to Howard Stern’s potty mouth (both past and future) are large, publicly held companies with very sensitive boards of directors.
If you don’t like, what’s on the air, don’t watch or listen to it.
They’ll get the message loud and clear in the next quarter’s financials. When something becomes unprofitable, it disappears.
If there’s no market for crap on radio or TV, there won’t be any crap on radio or TV. And, likewise, if there’s a huge market for picking and choosing channels, they’ll be selling that service tomorrow.
What we don’t need is a 38-year-old national nanny with the imprimatur of a Government agency bloviating to a bunch of blowhard Senators when they all have real work to get done.