Senator Rockefeller and Congresswoman Jackson-Lee Have the Censorship Bug
Will someone please get West Virginia Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller and Texas Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee some Zicam?
The afflicted Senator Rockefeller was chairing yesterday’s television retransmission hearings when his self-described “little bug” caused him to swerve off on a censorship tangent:
Senator Rockefeller: I hunger for quality news. I'm tired of the right and the left. There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC (Federal Communications Committee) to say to Fox and to MSNBC "Out. Off. End. Goodbye." Would be a big favor to political discourse, our ability to do our work here in Congress and to the American people to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly in their future. We need slimmed down channel packages that better respect what we really want to watch.
So the Chairman of the relevant (Commerce, Science, and Transportation) Senate Committee has a “little bug” which causes him to wish to grant the FCC sweeping new powers – because they do not currently regulate cable television – that would then allow it to throw Fox News, MSNBC and whomever else the likes of Senator Censorship wishes off the air.
Clearly the Senator’s condition causes him to forget or forego the First Amendment.
I would imagine the Senator’s little bug was agitated by the November 2nd election results. Which is when the American people – with more media outlets from which to choose than ever before - made the uber-informed decision to throw his Party out of the majority in the House and diminish its majority in his Senate.
Let us now flashback to November 12, when Texas Democrat Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee exhibited symptoms of having an older variant strain of Senator Rockefeller’s little bug. Appearing on the MSNBC the Senator wishes to see removed from the airwaves, the Congresswoman and her host, Equine Ed Schultz, had the following exchange.
Equine Ed Schultz: How are we going to make any progress if there's somebody out on all these radio stations across America who is allowed to basically get away with racist comments, never challenged on it, and it goes into the ears of impressionable people - low information voters - who say "Yeah, that's the way the Democrats really are." I mean, I don't want to say "Should there be a law against this" BUT where's the decency? There isn't any.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX): That's, you know, a very good question. As you well know, the Fairness Doctrine exists no more. It was interpreted that that was stifling the First Amendment. It might be worthy of a debate again. Because without the Fairness Doctrine, of course, there's a wide latitude of the use of language that is provoking, provocative and insulting. You're right.
Equine Ed Schultz: How about a decency law that says you can't make racist comments on the air? I mean, there's right and there's wrong. We're afraid to say what's right and wrong anymore, what's decent and indecent.
Ahh yes, that old chestnut the “Fairness" Doctrine. Which is like malaria; good and sensible people eradicated the disease, but do-gooder Leftists didn’t like the manner in which we did so – DDT and a return to First Amendment principles, respectively – so we are always in danger of a return of that particular little bug. (The continent of Africa could again use an infusion of both remedies.)
We certainly need to put a stop to our "wide latitude of the use of language," eh Congresswoman and Senator? Too many channels, too much language - too much First Amendment free speech for our stricken representatives to take.
Again, I would dare say that the Congresswoman’s condition too was additionally agitated by the recent election. Being returned to the minority can’t be fun – best to seek eradication of a main reason for the results, rather than stand by and watch the electorate become informed against you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we can rid ourselves of more of these little censorship bugs in 2012. The price of free speech is eternal vigilance, and of course biennial electoral inoculations.