Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FCC push to regulate news draws fire - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

FCC push to regulate news draws fire - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

When will government take a hint. We do not need regulations set to determine if a broadcasting company is being "fair and balanced". The entire aspect of using the airways is to express ones point of view and for broadcasting companies it means attracting viewers that will increase ad revenue. It is not about content. Any "Fairness Doctrine" or tying ones license to "balanced" programming infringes on the companies right to do business. What is so wrong with allowing viewers to decide which programs stay on the air and which ones go? Isn't that the American Spirit in action?

Per the article the FCC is looking to: "prove they have made a meaningful commitment to public affairs and news programming, prove they are committed to diversity programming (for instance, by showing that they depict women and minorities), report more to the government about which shows they plan to air, require greater disclosure about who funds political ads and devote 25 percent of their prime-time coverage to local news."

Does this mean that Lifetime will have to air more programming dealing with men? Or the History Channel will have more programming dealing with ex-cheerleaders bloodlust? I understand that both Lifetime and History Channel are typically tied to cable or satellite providers but once we start the ball rolling where does it stop? The FCC is not, or should not, be in the position to dictate a social agenda in regards to programming. I see no problem with restricting the time frame for "mature" topics to after 8 pm but I do have a problem with them dictating or mandating x% of programming being anything.

Plus, why should the stations be held liable or disclose the funding of the political ads being run? Isn't that already part of the agreement that someone "approves" the ad? Government is not meant to be in our lives this much. The Framers, granted did not have television, established a country that people would have more freedoms and choices. The mandate or regulation being proposed by the FCC is neither; rather it is a restriction. Perhaps if we had more non-PC shows like Archie Bunker on, we as a society could openly deal with some of the issues facing America. Instead we must be careful on our word choices as to not offend someone.

To require broadcasters to report their programming they intend to air is a form of censorship and central planning that one comes to expect from China or Russia not the United States of America.