January 25, 2008

FCC: "We've Got Those Bare Buttocks Under Control!"

Greetings. While the FCC has been pretty much asleep at the switch as far as Network Neutrality and ISP abuses are concerned, it would be unfair to suggest that the Commission has been completely sitting down on the job in all respects -- they've got the bare buttocks situation firmly in their grasp.

The FCC has proposed to fine the ABC television network $1.43 million over buttocks and "small area of the side of one breast" shots in a more than five-year-old episode of the NYPD Blue television series. The time lag between the airing and this fine may help to explain the Commission's lack of attention to critical Internet issues -- staff has probably been hard at work on the Blue case, giving the matter frame-by-frame attention so that they couldn't be accused of falling down on the job.

Needless to say, I consider the fine ridiculous, especially since ABC broadcast the series with parental warnings (and appropriate V-chip flags from the time that system was available). This sort of behavior by the Commission makes the U.S. a laughingstock throughout most of the Western world, and seems to be treading very close to an extortionist trade-off against the 1st Amendment.

It's also a horrendous waste of time and effort, to boot.

Free advice for the FCC -- take your minds away from the buttocks and breasts -- and instead concentrate on protecting consumers from ISPs who seem to increasingly feel that it's open season to filter, monitor, block, modify, and manipulate the contents of their subscribers' and Web services' data.

And while you're at it, you might get off your own behinds and do something meaningful about that half of the U.S. population that apparently still doesn't realize that their analog TVs are currently scheduled to go dark in a year or so.

There are many areas where the FCC could make a positive and crucial difference, but we really don't need your protection from the big bad buns, thank you very much.


Posted by Lauren at January 25, 2008 05:42 PM | Permalink
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