Letters

Right-wing hypocrisy and the FCC. Plus: Readers weigh in on the lifeless White House press corps.


Salon Staff
August 30, 2005 11:37PM (UTC)

[Read "The FCC's Cable Crackdown," by Michael Scherer.]

Let the book burnings begin! If our children don't have late-night soft-core on Showtime to watch, they'll have to go back to reading "Catcher in the Rye" and "God, Are You There? It's Me, Margaret."

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Heaven knows we don't want our children learning anything outside of moral crusaders' narrow view of what's appropriate. In fact, I love having information withheld from me (and my child) that I could use to make up my own mind. No, better to let James Dobson figure it out and let me know what God wants for me.

Don't get me wrong, I don't sit up at night watching smut with my 12-year-old on cable TV, I just think if someone is so worried that their children might see a program that is offensive to them, maybe they should get familiar with the "lock" feature of their remote control or stop subscribing to cable or satellite TV services. While they're at it, why not just lock the kids up so they can't learn anything that hasn't met their stamp of approval first?

-- Laura Price

So the same right-wing crowd who complains about the "nanny state" in reference to social programs, now insists on a "nanny state" to enforce broadcast decency over subscription services like cable and satellite television.

This abject hypocrisy is flabbergasting. If these people do not like what is on their subscription services, then they should cancel their subscriptions. The free market, which this crowd likes so much when it suits their narrow agendas, can sort this out.

-- Larry Abel

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I just finished reading your article on the FCC's plans for cracking down on cable television. Am I missing something here? I pay for cable television. It isn't sent to me for free. I choose to bring the contents of the station into my home. If these arbiters of morality don't like what they see on cable, then they shouldn't buy it. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

Using this same absurd logic would mean we should also ban R-rated movies -- they show the same thing as cable television. Blockbuster shouldn't be able to rent R-rated movies; people shouldn't be able to have subscriptions to Playboy sent to their house. Where does it end? If people want to pay for a service, as long as it's not illegal, why should the government try to stop it? What is wrong with these people? I'm surprised the cable companies aren't fighting this, but then again the cable companies are all part of the same hypocrisy, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

-- Joseph DiFrancesco

Perhaps instead of being able to block out unwanted channels and still pay for them, we should try capitalism -- and be able to buy only those channels we want.

-- Edith Conrad

Why not publish the FCC's complaint address? I'd like to lodge one against Pat Robertson. Suggesting the murder of a government leader for disagreeing with your politics strikes me as a lot more indecent than a bleeped word or two.

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-- Linda Robertson

[Read "I Invaded the White House Press Corps," by Cintra Wilson.]

Cintra Wilson has written a concise, provocative article -- so beautifully written that I didn't want it to end. I can only hope her press corps colleagues "get it" -- and return to a cohesive group speaking truth to power. Once Scott McClellan is forced to answer direct questions, the American people may recover some of their potency. If he keeps up the smoke screen of untruths and evasion, the press corps must show him to be the dishonest puppet that he is.

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-- Flora Lee

Cintra Wilson's piece on the White House Press Corps was the most enjoyably painful thing I've read since David Foster Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." She has his talent for wordplay combined with piercing insight and wit sharper than Helen Thomas' eye teeth.

-- Gwyneth Doland

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Cintra Wilson wrote a detailed and informative article on the White House briefing room, but it doesn't address a point that should have been central to her report: Why didn't she attempt to ask questions of Scott McClellan, or at least say why she didn't?

Was the agreement for her briefing-room credential that she wouldn't ask questions, that she was there to cover the press gaggle and not the activities of the president and the White House staff? Next time Salon gets a reporter into the briefing room, I hope she or he will ask some of the important questions that the resident corps doesn't, such as what exactly Bush's "noble cause" is in Iraq (Cindy Sheehan's question) or what exactly Bush knows about the Valerie Plame affair (not Rove, not Libby, not Cheney, but Bush) and when did he know it.

-- T.K. Barger

"If any major player in this administration is ever kidnapped by al-Qaida and tortured for national secrets, we can only hope that it is he."

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Listen, I'm a card-carrying liberal, and that line just sickens me. Wasn't there a better way to end that story?

-- Brandon Stahl

After reading your article on Scott McClellan and the White House press room I am left with one question: Why bother? If nothing comes out of these meetings other than lies and stonewalling and evasion, why spend the resources on it?

A very effective response would be for all the news organizations to walk out. Either stop showing up for the briefings or stand up en masse and walk out when something especially inane is said. Continue reporting on what the White House does, but if you stop going to these fruitless propaganda sessions, the Bush will have to hold press conferences to get his message out. Fox will probably stay, some of the smaller ones will too, but there aren't any scoops coming out of there, so what does it matter?

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Stop wasting time and providing an outlet for the lies. Stop cooperating with the White House in the fraud that is being perpetuated on the American people. Stand up and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

-- Stefan Krzywicki


Salon Staff

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