Of course the political system is at the heart of this entire problem. Take, for instance, the recent rumor that the FCC will look into curbing violence broadcast on cable television. Ever desperate for any useless issue that might garner more votes, regardless of how many taxpayer dollars are wasted in the process, Congressional representatives are the real people behind this moral policing and giving the FCC the authority to carry out such worthless tasks:
A draft report from the Federal Communications Commission raises the possibility that the FCC may act to clamp down on violent content on prime-time television—provided it gets the green light from Congress. Currently, the FCC has the authority to regulate sexual content and profanity on television, but most of the commissioners would like to see their power extended to cover depictions of violence.
"The pressure to do something on this is building right now," Commissioner Michael Copps told the AP. "People really feel strongly about this issue all across this land. This is not a red state or a blue state issue."
The report comes in response to a request from a bipartisan congressional group and will be submitted more two years past the original deadline of January 1, 2005. In their request, the congressmen asked the FCC to determining whether it could define "exceedingly violent programming that is harmful to children" in order to regulate it.
Naturally, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is hardly satisfied with the amount of authority he already holds, and in a quest for yet more power, has argued that "(The FCC) can't just deal with the three or four broadcast channels. We have to be looking at what's on cable as well."
Once again, the whole thing boils down to the fact that certain groups in America simply cannot leave the responsibility up to the parents to raise their children (or maybe it's that many parents in America refuse to be held responsible for raising their child). Quit assuming that we're all too dumb to take care of ourselves.
That said, I actually like Martin's idea of an "a la carte" cable selection, where the household picks and chooses the individual channels they would like. I'd say I watch between 5-10% of all the channels we have at our house here, so this is really an intriguing option. Of course, there was a study that the cable providers cite as proving that an "a la carte" system would make channels cost much more than they do, but guess who funded that study: the cable providers. Gee, that doesn't exactly sound like an unbiased inquest to me.
There also may be some hope for some members of Congress, after a recent report announced an upcoming hearing with the FCC over numerous issues, including their lack of investigation of into the NSA wiretapping scandals and how the FCC plans to improve America's lousy high-speed broadband setup when compared to most developed nations. It's nice to see that some people are focusing on issues that actually matter, but we'll see if anything comes