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Sexual Suppression

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FCC Crackdown A Sign Of Government Out Of Step


By James Donahue

January 2005


The first sign of trouble occurred when CBS was fined for the Janet Jackson exposure during a half-time performance at the 2003 Super Bowl.


Then came U2 singer Bono’s use of the "f-word" during remarks made at the Golden Globe Awards show, and the Howard Stern fiasco, which many believe was indirectly caused by station managers worried about looming new government controls over radio and television broadcasting.


Stern solved his problem, at least for a while, by moving his show to satellite radio where people now have the right to pay to hear him talk dirty.


Stern has a big following, as does the popular adult cartoon show South Park that airs weekly on the satellite Comedy Channel. Statistics show that satellite sponsored sex stations also capture a large portion of the nightly television viewing market, which has driven many big corporations to secretly invest heavily in them.


Then there is the Internet, where pornography is found at the click of a key, or mouse. Sometimes it comes to you without invitation, much to the concern of parents still attempting to guard the minds of their children who are drawn to the web like flies to dead meat.


It is clear that television viewers in America have a preference for sex, dirty radio and television talk, and shocking violence when it can be found. While this does not speak well for the culture as a whole, it is a simple truth.


Yet at the same time, the older, conservative, religious-oriented Americans that still have a slight edge of control at the ballot box, succeeded last fall in re-electing an ultra conservative, born-again fundamental president for a second term and packing both the House and Senate with enough Republicans to give this administration more power than any president since Lyndon Johnson.


Thus we have a Christian influenced agenda unraveling from Washington unlike anytime in American history.


We should not be surprised, then, at a growing movement within the ranks of the Federal Communication Commission to block not only the free flow of sexual content in public radio and television broadcasting, but also on satellite television and the Internet.


Stations face fines as high as $27,500 for every rule violation, and the FCC has the right to fine stations separately when it happens. After the Jackson exposure, the House attempted to raise the maximum fine to $500,000 but it failed.


Is the FCC committing political suicide by cleaning up the programming it controls on network television? By its very actions, it is sending more and more viewers to cable, where the FCC still lacks control.


Writer Randy Dotinga, in an editorial piece for, suggested that the “FCC bureaucracy may try to survive by expanding its jurisdiction to encompass the alternatives – cable TV, satellite TV and radio, maybe even the Internet.”


But Dotinga said he believes any effort by the FCC to use its powers to block free speech rights will be headed off by the Supreme Court, which has always been a controlling force on this issue.


Not so fast.


The high court is in the process of change. With Chief Justice William Rehnquist battling thyroid cancer and expected to retire any time, and one or two other elderly justices also reaching potential retirement status, President George W. Bush and Congress are poised to make sweeping changes in the makeup of that court.


An ultra conservative bench would be exactly what the Christian dominated manipulators of America want. This group dreams of more suppression of sexual broadcasting the publishing content as well as a reversal of the controversial abortion issue.


If they get their way we can expect some very dull television programming in the years ahead.


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