Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Broadcast censorship

Howard Stern is moving to satellite radio. More power to him - I'm a Sirius subscriber myself, not that I would ever listen to the man. But the articles I'm hearing seem to be focused mostly on why satellite radio isn't censored, while the airwaves are. But there's a very good reason for that. Broadcast signals are a limited resource, and the government in its wisdom, has decreed that they are a public resource. Stations that broadcast are given a license by the government to use a certain frequency, and in return they promise to do certain things, like not swear, and run public service announcements. But satellite and cable transmissions are not a limited resource. In theory you could have as many as you wanted, and the government has absolutely no legitimate interest in any kind of regulation. So the FCC should not be regulating cable or satellite broadcasts.