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FCC bans cable channels

May 3rd, 2007

The newest proposal of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is that cable companies offer their channels à la carte. This act, if passed, would have people pay per channel instead of per package as is currently offered. The FCC argues that this would not violate the First Amendment and the goal is to allow parents to regulate shows that their children can view. Instead of resorting to censorship, the FCC should spend its time informing people of how to use existing options like the V–chip/rating reviews.
This proposed bill may be approved by Congress, even though it is a clear attempt at censorship. The FCC’s stated goal is for parents not to pay for channels that provide violent programming. But that runs the risk of making those channels not profitable, thus removing them from the airwaves. It may be a new and clever way to stop channels from being shown in homes, but given that the goal is to eliminate certain programs, it is clearly censorship which is unconstitutional. Many cable companies reject the à la carte system, claiming that the only way to show new and less popular channels is to offer them within a package.
The change would cause many shows that are targeting a certain audience to be canceled from lack of funding. It would become almost impossible to generate a sufficient audience for any new channels. Even the FCC admits that there is little valid evidence supporting the belief that violent television shows increase violent actions in society.
Parents should clearly have the right to regulate what their children watch. If the V–chip/rating system is ineffective in helping parents ensure that protection, it is because parents either cannot or chose not to use it. The FCC should spend its time informing the former and persuading the latter, rather than generating cunning ways to censor shows.