The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission goes before the Senate Commerce Committee today to testify in favor of a measure that would allow cable and satellite television consumers to cherry-pick which networks they allow into their homes. This à la carte
approach would allow parents to block certain programs which they regard as containing too much violence. At first glance, this may sound like a good idea, but it isn’t. Suppose, for example, you want to block the FOX show “24,” but wish to keep NFL football on the same network? Too bad for you. You would have to block all shows on FOX.
Religious programmers do more than entertain and teach the saved. They also want to reach out to the unsaved through TV. If unbelievers blocked all religious channels, how would believers get their message out?
What amazes me is that a lot of anti-big government conservatives appear to favor this bill. Parents can control what their children watch and only one-third of American households have kids under 18. If government can allow one form of expression to be censored, how long before they come after talk radio?
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.