Punch Drunk Flounder
- Nov 22, 2003
- My Own Nonsensical World
Thanks for clearing that up. It's crazy what we have to do to make sure we don't step on anyone's toes.maxnugget said:Broadcast Standards & Practices isn't a government entity. It's the name of the department that decides what's "too hot for TV" at a network. Every network has one. Needless to say they're not governed by the 1st or 10th amendments, nor should they be.
The more direct question is with regard to the FCC. BS&P restricts content based on what they think is appropriate for their network (such as in cartoons, etc) but they also restrict content based on what they think the FCC is likely to slap the network with fines for (which is itself a controversial topic, because the FCC is so inconsistent, unpredictable, and discriminatory about what fines they levy and how big those fines are, that even the BS&P deps. seem to fail at accurately predicting what they can and can't get away with without the FCC fining them). Hence, if there was no FCC fines for "bad" content, BS&P would restrict content only based on PR goals. So, BTAS would presumably be unaffected, but, say, Spike TV's WWF shows and much of their other programming, would probably approach HBO levels in terms of sex, violence, and language, since they believe their target audience wants those things, and because they're decidely not trying to court the soccer moms.
It's certainly fair to say that the FCC fining networks for "bad" content amounts to a form of censorship. And there's very obvious problems in defining what's "bad," since, for example, Californians may have a very different view on that subject than, say, people in Utah. However it's also fair to take the opposite point of view, and say that the FCC, by not enforcing regulation of content, amounts to the taxpayers funding a government agency that's allowing content they disagree with to be aired. Then again, you can't please everyone, and you could just as easily say some taxpayers would object to funding a government agency that's censoring speech that they don't want censored. There will never be any kind of speech that 100% of people want censored (by definition: if someone's trying to put out certain content, they're obviously not part of that 100% majority). And if 100% of people don't want it censored (or even if they do), the FCC should not be censoring it.