In other countries, it's not this way. Take the example of the latest list of people that the United Kingdom has banned from coming to their country. They've banned terrorist types, extremist hate mongers and one Michael Allen Wiener (AKA Michael Savage, AKA the Antichrist). Now while I'm not a fan of his, I have occasionally listened to a little of his show (mainly because I didn't get around to turning the dial. That was the case Tuesday night. Except that I did listen to his first segment, where he talked about this issue. And on this, he's right to be pissed. I'd be ready to bounce off the wall if my most virulent comments put me in the same category as people who advocate acts of terror and murder.
Now here's something to think about. I'm hesitant to label anything as "hate speech" because it's easier to justify not allowing people to preach hate. And as pissed and ridiculous as I've heard Savage get, I've never heard him say, or read transcripts of anything that crosses that line. And that goes quadruple for every radio talker I do listen to.
Now in this country, we have had many attempts to attack free speech. From the Sedition Act of 1798 (the darkest of stains on the Adams administration, to Nixon's attempts to have John Lennon deported, there have been attempts by those in political power to hobble their opposition.
But no one politician or no one party, or no one government agency has been more responsible for the destruction of the freedom of speech than the antithesis of the First Amendment known as the Federal Communications Commission (AKA the Federal Communist Commission, AKA any combination of expletives starting with A and C and the word Communist).
From their thrice-damned site:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.In other words, soulless government hacks are empowered to to control every known form of electronic communication. And while there is some degree of necessity in protecting the rights of one individual or group in their use of certain airwaves, the FCC has never really limited itself in that way.
From the ever-misnamed "Fairness Doctrine" that crippled radio to puritanical decency codes enforced by edict and fine, the FCC has ridden herd on diversity in radio and on TV, creating pablum and stifling serious discussion.
And even today, when there are many people screaming about the breakdown of society because of the decadence of television, they're debating charging networks for someone uttering the word "fuck" once during a live show or a well-Tivo'd glance at a tit.
Again, this is the danger of allowing government control of something that can otherwise develop in the free market. With the advent of cable, it became possible for channels to program to their audience. And while we're not to the point where ABC is going to run double penetration orgies up against NBC's donkey show hour (wait, that's MSNBC's prime time), we're approaching a point where people will finally be able to watch what they want.
Case in point, here's the best example of quality shit (162 times) on TV. And I'm linking to this because it aired as you watch it, and makes the point as to why quality trumps pure obscenity for the sake of it.
And thankfully, a dedicated bunch of people have worked to keep the government away from the Internet so we can all write the most horribly wrong, perverse, and entertaining things on our blogs before visiting that 2girls1cup site (no I'm not linking to that shit). Strangely, the newest media is the closest thing we have to the newspapers which our Founding Fathers protected with an Amendment.
So in dealing with forms of communication I'm always going to err on the side of broadcasting it no matter the content, then let people vote on it the old fashioned way. With their remote controls and radio knobs.
And since I can't find a perfect clip to sing us out (and it's after 1am), I'll leave it at that.