I think all Americans should fight government censorship proposals for cable and satellite TV. Congress has no right telling Americans what they can and cannot see on paid television. Americans make the choice to actively pay for cable or satellite TV services. With today’s technology, one can easily get digital cable and use the cable box to block certain channels, certain ratings, etc.

John Rockefeller is pushing a bill that would allow the FCC to censor cable and satellite-based programming.

These ideas that are being pushed are, in my book, unamerican. Where do we draw the limit? What will be next to be censored?

People are turning to cable because of poor programs on broadcast and to have more of a choice of what they choose to watch. They can pay for certain channels or not. I doubt few Americans want government involved in their viewing choices. I posted the other day about trash TV, and I think we should try to get away from trash TV…especially on broadcast networks. But, the fact is- I want this to be voluntary. Better yet- I want Americans to choose NOT to watch these programs, and parents mainly to make sure their kids watch better programs and stay away from the trash that clutters so much of television. But, again- I do NOT want the government at all involved in any of this. I want freedom from government intervention into my television viewing. If the federal government gets involved in what a cable network can and cannot air- it’s obvious there’s no limit to what areas of life they can control.

Please contact your federal representative and tell them you oppose the congress from trying to censor cable and satellite television. Tell them that this should be a choice by the American people- if we don’t like it, we can switch the channel, use the V Chip technology or even the ratings lock outs built into nearly all digital cable boxes. Let’s stop the government from being even more involved in our private choices.

I should also mention here that I completely oppose the idea of an ala carte system where you pick only the channels you want and drop the ones you don’t. I don’t see how this model will work for consumers. Many consumer groups like this model, because they say they can get rid of certain channels that contain content they don’t want in their homes. Fortunately, the technology already allows for this. Use the V Chip that most of us have in our TV’s today or use the cable box to block the channels, put a password lock onto the thing- and bam- you’re done.

I haven’t seen any models of an ala carte system, but it makes no sense- it would raise prices, I’ve no doubt. A bundle is a much better option…maybe you don’t want all the channels you have, but bundling channels together in a package will be much cheaper for the consumer in general. Having a plan that would allow you to say- ‘I want Disney, USA Network, Bravo, MTV, and CSPAN is all great and good- but I can imagine this will kill cable companies in some regards, which means the prices for all of us will go up. I can’t imagine a scenario where someone says- I want the bundle I have now, all the channels you offer (which is what I currently have with my cable company), but I don’t want any increases. The lost money with the ala carte consumers would drive my prices up- also, it would drive the prices up for the ala carte folks as well. No doubt that the price for each channel will be raised in connection to the lost revenue that the system itself will cause.

I think too many people complain about TV, channels they don’t want, etc. yet refuse to do the simple thing- switch the channel, use the chip, use the box. If it’s a matter of money- they have to realize the ala carte idea will raise prices for everyone. I haven’t studied this issue, but it seems like a no-brainer to me…if you have all your customers in a bundled cable package, and then many move to ala carte where they pick and choose the channels or a tier of channels- they will expect to pay less…and they will…but that lost money has to be made up, of course, and it will be made up with those of us who want a bundle.

In the end, when it comes to government intervention- I say no thank you. Keep government out of what channel I can see and what I can see on that given channel at what time of day. The idea is nice- to “protect” children, but the government is also limiting my rights to watch what I want in the process. There are better, smarter ways- government intervention isn’t one of them.

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