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SCOTUS Approves Free Speech On TV, But American People Will Maintain Its Standards

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The Supreme Court has unanimously (8-0, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor recusing herself from the case) decided that television and radio can not be subject to outrageous fines and penalties that are levied due to cursing or nudity on the airwaves. While the Supreme Court may have sided for free speech, the standards for culture will still be determined by the American people. In their decision, the Court did not outlaw the Federal Communications Commission Indecency Policy, but rather confirmed that fines levied by the FCC are out of line. From the AP:

But the justices declined to issue a broad ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC’s indecency policy. Instead, the court concluded only that broadcasters could not have known in advance that obscenities uttered during awards show programs and a brief display of nudity on an episode of ABC’s “NYPD Blue” could give rise to penalties. ABC and 45 affiliates were hit with proposed fines totaling nearly $1.24 million. The justices said the FCC is free to revise its indecency policy, which is intended to keep the airwaves free of objectionable material during the hours when children are likely to be watching.

SCOTUS made a great call. It is unreasonable to assume that a television or radio network can cover all possible eventualities regarding what might happen on a live broadcast. Those who think Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake planned their breast-bearing appearance during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII could have a case about indecency if they could prove the conspiracy, but they haven’t. Mistakes happen. Slips of the tongue happen. The FCC should not be empowered to force massive fines for these mistakes.

However, the SCOTUS decision should not be seen as an opening to do whatever one wants on the airwaves. The standards by which we accept content are not defined by the FCC, they are defined by the American people. They are defined by ratings and box office returns. They are defined by the radio programs that succeed, and the radio networks that fail. Politics is downstream of culture. Said another way, politicians make decisions based on where the electorate points them. Corporations suffer when they create products or marketing campaigns that don’t work with American culture (most recently, look at Adidas and their shackle shoe.)

America will continue to set the standard of what they see on TV. Shows like GCB (originally titled ‘Good Christian Bitches’) didn’t last a season. Movies like The Blind Side (a movie about the value of family, love and giving) do great at the box office, and win Academy Awards.

SCOTUS made the right decision, and the FCC can revise all of the policies they wish. Content is downstream of the viewer. The people decide the standard.

The Tony Katz Show – Podcast – 6/11/12 Three More Examples Of Thrashing Free Speech

Enjoy The Show!

The Tony Katz Show – How Bloggers Are Being Threatened By Brett Kimberlin

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Convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin has been using the legal system to systematically silence bloggers and journalists who write about him, as well as the victims of his crimes. Robert Stacy McCain (of TheOtherMcCain.com) was forced to leave his home due to fear of Kimberlin retaliation. According to McCain, Kimberlin called the employer of his wife to try and silence him.

Kimberlin, who set off bombs at the Indianapolis Speedway in 1978, tearing off a man’s leg, is now supported by George Soro’s Tides Foundation, and liberal activists like Barbra Streisand. Streisand has given Kimberlin’s “Justice Through Music Foundation” $10,000. Sen. John Kerry’s wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry, gave $20,000. Tides has given $70,000

Others have written about Kimberlin and his tactics. Michelle Malkin notes that bloggers like Aaron Worthington, Liberty Chick and Patterico have had dealings with Kimberlin:

This is a convoluted, ongoing nightmare that combines abuse of the court system, workplace intimidation, serial invasions of privacy, perjury, and harassment of family members. McCain was forced to move with his family out of his house this week, and has just gotten a small taste of what Aaron and Patterico have been enduring over the past year. Aaron and his wife were fired from their jobs after their employer feared the office would be targeted next. Convicted bomber Kimberlin has filed bogus “peace orders” against Aaron, when it is the Walkerswho are the victims, not the perpetrators.

Lee Stranahan has put together a video to give an overview of Kimberlin, and his history:

As Tony discussed on The Tony Katz Show, people have the right to defend themselves from slander and libel. However, no one has the right to silence free speech via threats and intimidation. Tony joins a long list of bloggers and media who will share this story. Support them.

The City of LA Joins Attacks on Free Speech, Talk Radio

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Here is Tony’s latest article on Breitbart.com. The Los Angeles City Council has decided to become the moral authority on speech. In doing so, they have taken another stab at the First Amendment in the hopes to silence their critics, and end conversation in America:

The City Of Los Angeles has passed a resolution on talk radio, putting themselves on supposed moral high ground after comments from syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh on Sandra Fluke and LA juggernauts John and Ken on Whitney Houston. In both cases, the hosts apologized. John and Ken were suspended for a week. But apologies mean nothing to the Progressive Left, who are only interested in finding opportunities to shut down conservative talk radio.

The resolution (non-binding) from the LA City Council is based on bringing civility to the airwaves, as LA wishes to be:

….first in the nation to declare derogatory, sexist, misogynistic, and racist language as having no place on public airwaves in one of the most diverse cities in the world

It’s a hard position to argue. Radio, when done right, doesn’t need any of those things. The problem is not the idea, its who decides what is derogatory, sexist, misogynistic and racist. Shouldn’t that be a decision left to the listener?

The other problem is the people arguing it. The LA City Council supported the Occupy movement. The same Occupy movement that destroyed property and cost the city millions of dollars in clean up. The same Occupy movement, nationwide, that engages in rapes, sexual assaults, drug use and defecating on police cars.

On what level footing does the LA City Council expect to wield this new found morality?

Further, why is the city of Los Angeles getting involved? Week after week, we hear of teachers being arrested for sexually assaulting their children. In LA, the story has been going on for over a month as more and more teachers are being removed from the classroom. The police chief, Charlie Beck, believes that illegal invaders should be allowed driver’s licenses. Why? It will cut down on “hit and run” accidents. The LA Fire Department is on the hot seat for unacceptable response times and staffing issues. The LA City Council should be plenty busy with doing the actual work of the people, and should have no time for pompous grandstanding.

The resolution is a testament to Progressivism, and is, in a word, racist: (emphasis mine)

WHEREAS, Clear Channel Media Holding’s commitment to diversity is not
being realized at its flagship station KFI 640 AM, where out of 15 on-air personalities,
only one is a female and none of them are African American

WHEREAS there are not any African Americans currently working in KFI 640
AM’s newsroom as full-time producers or engineers, or as outside paid contributors, fillin hosts, or other on air personalities

WHEREAS, when you have an absence of African Americans and other
minorities in the workplace, it is easy to become desensitized to what other groups find intolerable which ultimately fosters an environment where negative comments can go unchecked and corporate guidelines and policies are no longer being enforced

Translation: White people who work together, if left alone, will eventually become racists and sexists.

My parents have been married for 42 years, and have been working together now for over 20 years. They are both white, and have no other employees. Are they racists, too?

After determining the “problem,” they quickly have the answers, too: (emphasis mine)

…a truly diverse work environment must include the hiring of a work force that reflects the diversity of Los Angeles which including women, African-Americans, Latinos and Asians

Translation: Don’t hire based on need or qualification. Hire on skin color and ethnicity only.

Is there anything more racist than that?

The purpose of the resolution is to continue an assault on conservative radio talk show hosts. The apologies of Limbaugh, and of John and Ken, are not enough for Progressives, who see clear their opportunity to silence opposing voices. It’s important to note, as done by DigitalJournal.com, that the resolution only goes after talk radio, and not TV:

As pointed out by the Daily Beast, there have been many mysogynistic statements made by liberal television personalities. Kirsten Powers gives examples such as MSNBC’s Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham “a right wing slut,” and Bill Maher referring to Sarah Palin as a “dumb twat” and a “c**t.”

Apparently, the 13 members of the Los Angeles City Council who voted in favour of the resolution, don’t want to apply the same standards of restricted speech to liberals on television as they want applied to conservatives on the radio.

The LA City Council can’t set morality because they are not moral. Objectionable content is protected by the First Amendment, which the Council clearly wants to crush. Those who disagree with what they hear will change the channel, or turn off their radio or TV.

You can’t turn off the Los Angeles City Council, but you can vote them out.