The Book of Job reminds us all that bad things often happen to very good people. And, if that's the case, it must be conversely true that, very often, great things happen to pretty crummy people.
And that's the case this week for the pit bull attacking the leg of free speech, The Parents Television Council, when our heralded leader President George W. Bush signed into law the raising of fines for television indecency from $32,500 to $325,000.
For those of you who want to know more, never fear--the PTC has included a complete transcript of what President Bush said for those five minutes when he signed the bill into law. And, for anyone who can't read, they also provide video. Hey, the PTC may not be fans of almost everything about what we call "convergence culture," since they consider shows like According to Jim to be heavily offensive to moral sensibilities (learned that one from Stephen Colbert)...But they sure do know how to be pretty media savvy. And, surprise! The video they show comes from Fox News Network.
Go look around the PTC Web site. They have difinitive proof about how free speech on television is destroying our country. Watching MTV for an hour makes kids more lkely to approve of pre-marital sex (just imagine what watching every day might do!) I guess we should be ashamed of our partners here at C3. And, in their press release celebrating victory, Bozell said this, which has been quoted in numerous news articles about the story, "They (the public) are fed up with the sexually raunchy and gratuitously violent content that's broadcast over the public airwaves, particularly during hours when millions of children are in the viewing audience."
In a subsequent online column about this issue, Bozell asks, "How can our media elite find so much pessimism in our society about our future in Iraq, or our future planetary health, or our future economic success, and totally ignore the public's pessimism about how Hollywood -- that is to say, they -- are polluting the culture?" This shows how powerful rhetoric can be when you turn a whole industry of creative people into one mass evil body..."they." More a propos to the "they" are groups like the PTC who directly tell people what they think, send out form letters to be mailed to people, and then claim how many people have spoken.
This site is dedicated to the vibrant possibilities that a new media landscape affords to us through convergence culture, but censorship initiatives like this endanger public expression by lumping everyone in the media industry into a "they" seeking to corrupt children...and, of course, anytime a group wants to attack an industry, the "children" line is always the infallible answer.
Bozell concludes with the point that "the four largest networks and 800 oftheir affiliates quietly have gone to court demanding the right to air the F-word and the S-word on the public airwaves any time and anywhere they wish, no matter how many children are watching."
And this is a guy who is consistently quoted in newspapers as an expert. An expert in rhetoric and distortion, maybe. Sure, there are plenty of things on television that I think is just done for sex, violence, or language's sake that is too "shock TV' in nature. And I wish every program had quality writing and imagination, but that isn't the way creativity works...you get a lot of bad stuff when you let people be free, but you also get a lot of quality.
In short, I believe that there's nothing more dangerous to American values than L. Brent Bozell, and continued initiatives like this can dampen the spirit of convergence culture like nothing else...