In movies like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, neighbors inform the police about serious crimes against the State like subversion and book possession. In real America, people call 911 because McDonald’s has run out of McNuggets.
We’ve grown accustomed to hearing about people using police to rectify situations that used to be done with simple human interaction. So we shouldn’t be surprised, when a daughter of America’s most prominent conservative advances to the finals of a dance contest and some people petition the government for a redress of jitterbug. Though no action was taken by the government, according to a Smoking Gun article there were numerous emails and letters sent to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the move of Bristol into the final round of Dancing With The Stars.
The FCC grew out of the FRC, which was established in 1927 only to assign radio frequencies and licenses. But giving the Federal Government a little authority is like giving a gremlin a snack after midnight. Since then, the FCC has moved into a much more powerful position, determining what content can be transmitted on the “public” airwaves, and insuring that the voices heard are as diverse as an NPR Kwanzaa Party.
With the assorted class action suit commercials advertised on late night TV, people today are encouraged to collect settlements on damages they didn’t even realize they incurred. A recent law was passed turning down the volume of commercials, an arduous task that heretofore required reaching all the way over to the coffee table and picking up the remote. So why wouldn’t Leftists appeal to the FCC to handle their dirty work against Bristol Palin and others?
There have been numerous calls for the FCC to suspend the licenses of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, two entities that do not require FCC licenses. The Party who thinks requiring proof of US citizenship in order to vote qualifies as a constitutional violation wants FCC licenses for Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.
Ultimately, what people are complaining about is democracy in its truest form. Rush Limbaugh is on the radio because 21 million people tune in every week. Fox News leads all other cable news channels by a margin wide enough for Michael Moore to slip through (while giving Kirstie Alley a piggyback ride). Bristol might have not been the best dancer, but more people wanted to see her in the final round than Brandy.
We all know it isn’t always the most talented who succeed. There are comics funnier than Dane Cook and better singers than Katy Perry. Yet both are at the top of their profession because they posses a couple assets that make them irresistible to the public (a similar argument might be made for the 2008 election).
For all the talk about the Right Wing being full of fascists, you never really hear the Right trying to censor the Left. If the FCC were inundated with letters every time a left-wing cause was advanced on network TV, one episode of The West Wing would have made FCC desks look like the final courtroom scene in Miracle on 34th Street.
There may be outrage from the right over a taxpayer-funded art installation or NPR, but such outrage is usually directed against the funding of these things. Most conservative Americans respect free speech, they just don’t think they should be forced to pay for it. (In an age of record deficits, children yet to be born will still be paying long after the ants have crawled off Jesus.)
As we move forward, into the new Congress, I expect the complaints to get louder. The left’s politics can only succeed in an intellectual vacuum, so Leftists strive to control the dialog. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Communist dictatorship like North Korea, or a small Liberal Arts college, they instinctively know that free speech is the enemy of Marxism.
And if you can’t win a debate (or a reality show dance contest), arrest the opposition.