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October 12, 2004

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» sisu: Unkind donations from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
Sissy Willis asking the relevent questions as usual! [Read More]

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coolest quote of the day ... comes from non other than Sissy Willis, who remarked: "John McCain and Russ Feingold, your offices are calling you. Is that you, goose? Gander here." over the democrats outcry against Sinclair Broadcasting airin... [Read More]

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How amusing... the liberals crushing free speech once again! Will Howard Stern, Susan Sarandon, or Tim Robbins have vociferous complaints about this? Will the Dixie Chics have a concert and denounce the fact that all Americans are not able to speak their minds??? ... ... ... Didn't think so.

Clanton should be fired immediately. What a maroon!

By complaining so loudly just like they did with the original SBVT ad they are in fact generating additional interest, not to mention free advertising, for this program that might not have otherwise occurred.

Sinclair is leasing public airwaves, which are regulated so the owners of media outlets can't control public political dscourse. Now pay-per-view (stay with me here) is something you choose to pay for in order to view it. See the difference?

If Sinclair wants to release this anti-Kerry hit piece on cable, if they want to distribute it to theaters, if they want to make an anti-Kerry website, well they're more than welcome. More power to 'em!

However if they use publicly owned airwaves to distribute free political propaganda, then they're crapping on the very idea of democracy, and they are probably in violation of the law.

Hope that clears things up.

Never fear, bitter mastermind. Seeing as how democracy (not to mention "the very idea of democracy") has withstood news organizations fabricating evidence to support their stories for years now; I've no doubt it will weather this storm too. Democracy (and "the very idea of democracy") seems in practice remarkably resilient in the face of being crapped on. Indeed, a certain amount of being crapped on almost seems to be good for it. There's probably an agricultural metaphor in there somewhere.

As for the "airwaves" owned by the public, they don't exist, except in the abstract. Use of the electromagnetic spectrum is licensed and regulated because the spectrum is more useful to everyone when they don't have to outpower their neighbors to use it. The government's authority to regulate the spectrum derives solely from that utilitarian concern, and as such it is not so much ownership as stewardship. When the government starts using its stewardship to censor rather than to promote communication, I'd argue that regulation has become a net disutility, and we'd be better off replacing all the big media broadcasters with a network of pirate radio stations.

the face of being crapped on

So, you're a pro-crap anarchist? Well, uh... good for you I guess.

not so much ownership as stewardship

Good point. That's why Sinclair has a license to broadcast. If they can't handle the responsibility, they should get the hell off the public airwaves. Maybe they should try pay-per-view.

An honest question: if Sincalir were forcing their swing-state affiliates to broadcast Farenheit 9/11 commerical-free a week before the election, would you be satisfied with the offer to have Bush come on afterwards to discuss the film? Or whould you be screaming bloody murder?

So, you're a pro-crap anarchist?
I can see my signal got garbled, so let me try again on a less noisy channel:

Bitter mastermind, radio check, how do you read me? I find your histrionics about democracy's impending doom to be so over-the-top that even a teenaged drama queen would blush at them. Over.

...would you be satisfied ... [o]r would you be screaming bloody murder?
Too easy, since it isn't even that much of a hypothetical. The "airwaves" are littered with stuff that I find stupid, offensive, or otherwise objectionable. Some of it even masquerades as factual news reports. Do I grouse about it to anyone who cares to listen? Absolutely. Do I suggest that the state should censor any broadcast that I happen to disagree with? Absolutely not. As I stated in my first post, a censored medium is worse than useless.

I'm skeptical of the claim that the medium somehow makes a difference in whether the message is acceptable or not. I reject your theory that radio and television broadcasts are somehow special; as I explained, the "public airwaves" are nothing more than a convention for making sure that broadcasters don't step on each others' toes. Beyond that, it's your transmitter--your message, as far as I'm concerned. However, I do think that if you're going to advocate censorship of "irresponsible" you should at least be consistent about it. It's funny how you never see anyone on either the left or the right stand up and say, "Hey, the supporters of my candidate made an irresponsible broadcast, and darn it they ought to be silenced," and I can tell you, it's not because either side lacks for opportunities to take such a principled stand.

I mean, if anything qualifies as "irresponsible", you would think that manufacturing phony evidence to support a news story (and broadcasting it on the "public airwaves", naturally) would, but I'm guessing you're ok with that. Am I wrong?

histrionics about democracy's impending doom

You seem to be projecting your fantasies about teenage drama queens.... I think democracy will survive. But I think this act by Sinclair takes a huge smelly crap on it's face. I think the ideals of democracy deserve respect, while you think crapping on the face of those ideals is fine. We'll agree to disagree.


Too easy, since it isn't even that much of a hypothetical.

So easy, you didn't even bother to answer the question? Here, let me make it easier for you:

If a major broadcaster preempted prime time programming one week before the election to play a 90 minute commercial-free movie about Bush's irresponsible drunken behavior in the early 70's, would you be screaming bloody murder?

Let me make it super easy for you -- I would. Now answer me honestly. Would you?


Beyond that, it's your transmitter--your message, as far as I'm concerned.

Right. And it's my car, so I can drive wherever I please.

Look, kid. Anarchy seems really "romantic" but eventually you grow up and recognize that it's not cool to drive on the opposite side of the road or up onto other people's lawns. Someday you might want to take off the black hoodie and get a real job. Until then, vote Badnarik.

heh brilliant Sissy!

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