Thursday, April 01, 2004

FCC shenanigans. 

I find this article via Neil Gaiman, which is ironic, since I go to the CST page a lot on my own and completely missed this.

It's Richard Roeper, the very intelligent and entertaining companion to The Man on the Ebert & Roeper show, and as gifted a columnist as The Man himself.

And what's got him up in a bind right now? The current FCC environment, thanks to people who had coronaries because Janet Jackson's nipple was visible for a couple of seconds. To us norms, the world kept on turning after that fateful eyeblink of time. But not to the freaks. They've turned this country into a Bizarro Democracy.

Now that the FCC has the power to levy fines of up to A HALF MILLION DOLLARS for a single indecency infraction, adult-oriented hosts are engaging in self-censorship, lest they be hit with career-ending fines. Already the FCC has proposed a $247,000 fine for ''Elliot in the Morning,'' a Washington, D.C., jock, for his ''graphic and explicit'' comments about porn star Ron Jeremy.

Jeez. You can plead guilty to a variety of felonies in this country and you might be able to avoid jail time by doing community service and paying fines -- but the fines are nowhere near as huge as the suggested financial penalties for talking about sex on the radio.

What's happening to us?

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