Monday, January 20, 2014

Censorship Sucks. Just sayin'.

In most aspects I'm a conservative. I support our military and am a veteran myself. I support free-market capitalism and small government. I support lower taxes and less red-tape regulation. I support gun ownership. I'm pretty pro-life. I support immigration control and strong borders. I support the death penalty. I believe in the Constitution and the rights afforded by it, especially Freedom of Speech.

And herein lies the rub.

In some regards I'm a tad more liberally-minded, but I am most assuredly NOT a Liberal. I'm not a religious person and as such I'm pretty open to a few things that most Libs may embrace while many Conservatives don't.

Take porn, for example. I don't have a problem with most of it so long as it doesn't involve anything illegal, or involve kids and livestock, and so long as it's kept away from kids too young to process human sexuality in a mature fashion. I'm okay with gays & gay marriage. I admittedly cuss like the proverbial sailor despite my erudite command of the English language. As such, I'm also not offended by swearing on television. No, what offends me on television is stuff that insults the intelligence, like Jersey Shore or MSNBC or Piers Morgan or that show Neighbors. Actually, truth be told, not much on television truly offends me at all because if I don't like it, I DON'T WATCH IT.

You see, the TV (and the radio) comes with two buttons (in my day they were knobs) and one of them changes the channel and the other one turns the unit OFF. No one, and I mean NO ONE, is standing there with a gun to your head under threat of blowing your cerebral cortex all over your La-Z-Boy recliner if you don't watch a show. And this is where I have a problem with censorship and a bullshit governmental agency called the FCC.

The FCC reports to NO ONE. It is an independent governmental agency formed by Congress under the Communications Act of 1934 to replace the radio regulation functions of the Federal Radio Commission. The FCC is funded entirely by regulatory fees scalped from broadcast entities. Yes, they force you to pay fees to have some wonk tell you what you can & can't do. It has an estimated budget of nearly $360 million pulled in from those entities. It has 1,898 federal employees. Until recently the agency was headed by the daughter of Representative Jim "Racecard" Clyburn (D-SC), because the current agency dearly loves nepotism. But I digress. She is still on board as one of the agency's commissioners.

Nowhere in the FCC's mission, as noted above and copied verbatim from the FCC's Wiki entry, does it say the agency is there to enforce public decency laws or fine people for perceived indecencies. And yet, the FCC does just that. In fact, one of their cases went to the  Supreme Court of the United States, the case of FCC v. Pacifica Corporation, by where the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision on “indecent” material as it applied to broadcasting. In 1973, a father complained to the FCC that his son had heard the George Carlin “Seven Dirty Words” routine broadcast one afternoon over WBAI, a Pacifica Foundation FM radio station in New York City. Pacifica received a sanction from the FCC, in the form of a letter of reprimand, for allegedly violating FCC regulations which prohibited broadcasting "indecent" material. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the FCC action in 1978, by a vote of 5 to 4, ruling that the routine was "indecent but not obscene". The Court accepted as compelling the government's interests in 1) shielding children from patently offensive material, and 2) ensuring that unwanted speech does not enter one's home. The Court stated that the FCC had the authority to prohibit such broadcasts during hours when children were likely to be among the audience, and gave the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency in different contexts.

Like I said above, I look at it this way: the radio has two knobs; one turns the station and the other turns it off. Be a proactive parent and keep your kid from listening, instead of letting the government babysit your kid. The original complainant, John Douglas, was driving in the car with his son and heard the broadcast and complained to the FCC because he was unhappy his son had heard it. If you found it offensive, dummy, why’d you keep listening? That’s like keeping your hand in boiling water after you feel pain, and then calling the government to say the water was hot instead of removing your hand.

Why do I bring all of this up? Because here we are in 2014 and people are still getting butt-hurt over adult language and adult-oriented humor on non-cable television. Specifically, a few people have bitched to the FCC over a show that I actually do watch and enjoy, the CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls". The show airs on a broadcast network between the hours of 6am and 10pm, where FCC rules prohibit profane speech, and the whinier and more easily butthurt among the masses have contacted the FCC's website with complaints.

Yes, the show is edgy, especially for traditionally lame broadcast TV. It makes a lot of sexual innuendos and drug-related jokes, and I think what makes it funny is that it comes from a pair of young women instead of a crew of men. I've watched the show since the first episode and continue to watch it. It's actually one of the few non-cable shows I watch weekly. In fact, I only watch four shows on the CBS network at all: Undercover Boss, the original CSI in Vegas, 2 Broke Girls, and the new show Mom, which is just as outrageous as 2 Broke Girls in its content, also starring two women coincidentally.

The sniveling is insipid at best.

“I feel this is soft porn. No wonder our country is in the condition it is when shows like this are on the air,” stated one complaint. Another noted that they were “shocked to hear the term ‘b*tch’ used twice and so loosely in a prime-time show where children could be watching.”

Well, then maybe you should BE A PARENT and change the channel and control what your kid is watching. If the kid is watching the show, it either means YOU are watching it live when you could DVR it and watch it after little Billy's bed time, or you threw a TV in your kids' room as a babysitter so you wouldn't have to proactively parent your kid and you aren't monitoring the kid's viewing. I know; it's easier to blame everyone else than to take responsibility, right? And have you ever actually seen soft porn? Or hard porn for that matter? Both require some nudity and words slightly worse than bitch.

“I am really disturbed by what I am seeing on national television. I tolerated it enough when it was on cable due to the fact that I chose to purchase cable… But now public television is riddled with sexual overtones and inappropriate material for children,” wrote another viewer. “I am asking that the FCC do their job and remove these types of television shows from our public broadcasting systems. I have served my country with honor and am proud to say that I am an American, but when we continuously allow these types of shows to air I am rather embarrassed and ashamed of us as a country.”

Seriously? At least you're smart enough to realize you pay for cable as a choice and you can stop having it at any time. You're embarrassed and ashamed of us as a country? Then if you're a vet as you imply you should be well aware of the First Amendment that was part of the Constitution we swore an oath to defend. Be embarrassed that we're 17 trillion in debt and our government is spying on us and leaving people to die while taking away your rights one by one.

According to reports, nearly 100 viewers have filed informal complaints to federal regulators about the show’s content, citing the many crude sexual epithets uttered by the characters. Almost a whole hundred out of a country of 314 million, not including all the illegals. More people than that are against Obamacare and were still stuck with that goat-screw.

"’2 Broke Girls’ is proof each week that no one at the FCC cares what is going on regarding broadcast TV. If they did, they’d put the show in a more appropriate time slot, like 3am,” Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center (MRC) told FOX411. “It’s a non-stop bad sex joke. In one recent episode, I counted at least 14 different sex jokes, three of them mentioning ‘vagina.’ The only thing the show is missing is nudity and a stripper pole.”

Sorry, pal. 3AM is when we get nothing but informercials for penis enlargement and erectile dysfunction and a repeat of yesterday's Kathy Lee & Hoda sugar-frosted crapfest. So, are we to infer that you watch it so often that you now count the jokes & references? If it's that offensive why torture yourself, unless you want to regale the world with your martyrdom? And you're offended by the word "vagina"? No one said "pussy" or "cunt" or "snatch" or any vulgarity concerning female genitalia, but instead the proper medical term was used, and you're offended by it? Are you the type of adult who still calls it a "hoo-hah" or call a penis a "pee-pee"?

“Many TV shows today leave little to the imagination,” observed Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center. “’2 Broke Girls’ seems inappropriate for prime time.”

Not everyone agrees.

"CBS has no obligation to only create child-friendly programming so your kids aren’t subjected to sexual suggestion, especially at night – and the FCC isn’t here to raise your kids," said L.A-based pop culture expert Jenn Hoffman. "Ironically, the same values-obsessed people who want the FCC to swoop with an iron first and regulate our airwaves are often the same people who want the Federal government to leave their speech, guns, health care and  churches alone. At some point you have to choose what type of country you want to live in and stick with it."

Amen, sister. Some of my fellow conservatives have a stick jammed so far up their asses they look like scarecrows, complete with missing brain. They complain about the Left's war on Christian values and the Constitution and their intolerance of differing viewpoints all the while forgetting the first Amendment in a rather intolerant manner themselves.

Again, no one is holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing you to watch shows that you don't find to your likings. A month ago you bitched when they lashed out at Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty because he doesn't approve of gays and now you want to censor a show that you don't approve of? A month ago you bitched about freedom of speech and how the left only approved of it when it swung their way, and now you want it to swing your way? This is America and it needs to swing both ways, for everyone, and both sides need to realize that if you're against gay weddings don't have one, if you're against a TV show don't watch it, and if you don't like a song don't listen to it, and if you have kids, PARENT THEM.

A month ago I was bashing the Left for going batshit cray-cray over free speech they didn't like, and this month I'm bashing the Right, or at least possibly the Right, for the same thing. I'm fair. A bastard, but I'm fair.

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