Decency in the New Millenium

From today's New York Times, a profile of the new chairman of the FCC, Kevin J. Martin, and what he and the members of the commission are expected to do in terms of tightening rules of decency on the airwaves. Also under consideration, the question of decency rules as they apply to privately broadcast cable programs.

Mr. Martin's predecessor, Michael Powell (son of Colin Powell) held a hard line on broadcasters; Mr. Martin is expected to be even tougher in the administration of the agency. Is this trend toward national conservatism paralleling what we see in the publishing industry?

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Ah...history pops up in this case...

Is this trend toward national conservatism paralleling what we see in the publishing industry? A good project is to look at the precedents of where the Commission's decency regulations came from. If memory serves correctly, conservatives were not the initial driving forces behind such regulations. The regulations are not really new at all. They have been in existence for years...even during the Clinton administration. The key problem has been over the years lacking money for effective enforcement . The regulations were treated as non-existent because the Commission's enforcement team was too spread out to act effectively. With additional funding resources and reallocations these days, though, supposedly "new" regulations are finally being enforced. Perhaps one of the co-conspirators at The Volokh Conspiracy could pick up the ball on such a study?

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