As always Brent and his trenchant neo-nannies at the Parents Television Council are good for a laugh as they attempt to pour disinfectant over our airwaves. What gets me is the apparent and perverse glee they take in recounting “unseemly” acts for their lily members. A visit to the Parents Television Council website can be more fun than surfing porn.
But the humor goes flat when one sees how effective Bozell and his army of prigs have been. They've chalked up victory after victory as they strong-arm our nation’s regulators and lawmakers to abide by their obscene disregard for our Constitution.
The passage last week of the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 is due in large to Bozell’s uncanny ability to leverage the latest prime time “wardrobe malfunction” to mobilize hundreds of thousands of letter writers. The resulting onslaught of email has Congresspeople and FCC bureaucrats running for cover, shamefully incapable of defending that document upon which our nation was built. Certainly none in the majority were willing to stick their neck out on behalf of our First Amendment and risk the wrath of the PTC, the American Family Association and other blinkered zealots who rein over the chill political climate that now pervades inside the Beltway.
Incoming Education Secretary Margaret Spellings did much to ice the deal earlier this month when she threatened to take back federal grant money if PBS didn't deep-six an installment of the children's show "Postcards from Buster" that featured a cartoon character’s visit to two lesbian families in Vermont.
To cover their grubby tracks, lawmakers cite FCC broadcast license agreements, which loosely obligate television broadcasters to serve the "public interest, convenience and necessity" in exchange for access to a slice of our airwaves. This gives us a legal basis for action, they claim. But many in Washington plan to take their crackdown beyond broadcasters to fine cable producers whose content strays into forbidden territory. Stay tuned for more . . . or less as the case may be.
Now, Bozell is gloating over another victory won on the backs of “shocked” lawmakers in the House. The legislation moves next into the Senate, thanks to Kansas Republican Sam Brownback and Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman, where it faces scant opposition. These great defenders of our rights are legislators we Americans voted into office -- who upon serving took an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." [emphasis added]
While we still have the right, it's time Americans mobilized to vote them out.