Choking The Coaxial Chicken

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Memo to Ted Stevens: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY CABLE.

This is what you shitheads keep voting for. You THINK you're voting for a strong military and small government and lower taxes and safety and freedom, but you're really voting for prosecuting obscenity cases and the eternal crusade against the word "FUCK". Well, fuck you. And fuck Ted Stevens.

Ted Stevens is a Republican. Ted Stevens is a Congressman. Ted Stevens is from Alaska, which last made the news when a woman cut her boyfriend's dick off and flushed it down the toilet. Ted Stevens thinks that the same rules ABC has to live by when it muzzles Mark Shaiman* during the Oscars should apply to cable and satellite radio and TV as well. Which presumably means no F-bombs on late-night Comedy Central, no more fountaining stumps on Adult Swim, and the complete annihilation of Cinemax, leaving only a smoking crater where America's leading purveyor of nipples once stood.

Stevens claims that cable is a much more frequent offender in the area of indecency than broadcast TV. Of course it is. Why the fuck do you think we all pay for it? I'll give you a hint - it isn't so we can watch the Weather Channel. Or the Good Life Network, that digital station up in the thin air numbers that shows nothing but reruns of "Combat!" and "tony Orlando and Dawn". Nobody buys cable for the Good Life Network. The people who watch it probably don't even know they have cable. They just got tricked into the installation by a savvy salesman and think they get two electric bills a month.

Once you have enough cable, you lose your desire, nay, your NEED, for broadcast TV. Because with cable, you get animal puppets pretending to have sex with each other, and with broadcast TV, you get "According To Jim". And if, in a moment of weakness, you feel the need to watch Law and Order, guess what? It's on. Somewhere, on cable, at any given time, at least two different episodes of Law and Order are playing. You don't need an antenna. Your antenna is free to ram up the censor-hole of Alaskan representatives who want to control what you can and can't see. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air. There has to be some standard of decency. No one wants censorship." - First, you ignorant tundrahumper. LOTS of people want censorship. They admit it all the time. And one of them happens to be YOU. You're part of the government, you want to limit private speech carried over private networks so that it only has words you approve of in it. That's censorship. And not even the watered-down kind of censorship people usually bitch about, like on Internet message boards. This is bonafide, for-real, from your friendly neighborhood government censorship.

The reason they can get away with restricting speech over the airwaves is because the government technically OWNS the airwaves. They take advantage of that ownership in two ways - first, they give sweetheart deals to telecom companies who've bribed them, er, I mean "contributed to their campaigns". That way, the telecom companies can charge you $2.00 to send you a monophonic version of Snoop's "Drop It Like It's Hot" over the public airwaves. And second, they make sure the government's electromagnetic spectrum isn't used to show you any fucking.

But the government doesn't own the wire that brings you your cable. At most, they may have helped a bit to get the wire there, but the vast majority of the money and the work were done by the cable companies. Who also suck, don't get me wrong, but you can't dispute that they put the fucking wires in the ground that let you watch Optimus Prime get a prostate exam. And every month, we help them repay that investment by spending too damn much money for the channels we ask them to send to us. The government is, essentially, no more involved in this transaction than they are when I go to Barnes And/Or Noble. If I wanna hear someone say "donkey-raping ass-spelunker", then that's between my wallet and Time-Warner's monopolistic corporate death-coffer. And Ted Stevens can stay the fuck out, thank you very much.

As a result, when people like Texas Congressman Joe Barton says something patently ridiculous like "It's not fair to subject over-the-air broadcasters to one set of rules and subject cable and satellite to no rules," it's vitally important, for the sake of effective government, that he have four thousand malfunctioning set-top boxes dropped on his head, so that he can be replaced with someone who knows how the goddamned government he's a part of actually works.

It probably won't pass. But these are the kind of things, the kind of previously insane, unspeakable things, the fuckheads you keep electing are spouting now that they think they can get away with it. Sam Johnson, another Texas congressman, got roars of applause when he told a crowd he thinks Iraq's nonexistent WMD's are actually in Syria, and that he'd love to take care of the problem himself. Specifically, "You know, I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on 'em and I'll make one pass. We won't have to worry about Syria anymore.

The inmates have always been running the asylum, but for the past few decades, they knew enough to keep their mouths shut when we were listening. But since we've apparently proven we're just as crazy as they are, they're free to espouse censorship and unprovoked nuclear assault when the microphones are on. And if you think it'll come back to haunt them two years from now... you're not reading this column.

* They were muzzling Robin Williams, but only because of the words Shaiman wrote for him

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