The FCC and the 1st Amendmemt

Posted: February 20, 2010 in constitution, freedom, politics
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been doing some thinking recently. I know what you’re thinking, “Great. What’s he gonna rant about now?” and you’re right, I’m gonna rant. This time about how unnecessary the FCC is and raise a question about their constitutionality.

Let’s start with the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech (I don’t have my pocket constitution with me so it’s probably not the exact wording, but you get the point). But doesn’t the law that created the FCC do just that?

All wired and wireless communication services are regulated by the FCC, but for the sake of argument I’m going to concentrate on television and radio.

The FCC regulates obscenity, indecency, and profanity over broadcast radio and television. But who’s to determine what is obscene, indecent, or profane? Why, that would be modern community standards, of course.

Obscenity, as defined by the FCC, is not protected under the first amendment and can therefore be prohibited. Indecency and profanity, however, ARE protected, but can be regulated. Between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., no indecent or profane appearances or utterances can be broadcast.

But where in the constitution does it say that broadcast speech must be regulated to protect children? Isn’t it up to parents and guardians to protect children from obscenity, indecency, and profanity?

All the FCC has accomplished is to take yet another aspect of personal responsibility out of the individual’s hands and dropped it into the lap of the broader community and Big Brother, and maimed the constitution to suit its needs. And we’ve allowed it.

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