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Government Hypocrisy

TelevisionMoviesGovernmentOur government strikes me as a complex morass of contradictions that – if viewed together – would lead any logical person to the conclusion that the left hand is totally unaware that the right hand exists, let alone what it’s doing.

Take this piece from the Hotline’s Blogometer reporting on a Reason Online piece.

By all accounts, the CleanFlicks-type outfits weren’t ripping off Hollywood in any way, shape, or form-they were paying full fees for content-and they weren’t fooling anyone into thinking their versions were the originals; the whole selling point of CleanFlicks’ Titanic is that it spared audiences the original movie’s brief moment of full-frontal Winslet. CleanFlicks was simply part of a great and liberatory trend in which audiences are empowered to consume culture on their own terms-not the producers’.

I’m actually going to ignore the specific question of shifts in media consumption and ask broader philosophical questions. So here they are.

What was CleanFlicks doing that the FCC doesn’t order the nation’s broadcasters to do anytime they broadcast a movie over the open airwaves? Why does a court hold a private company trying to sanitize movies to a completely different standard than the federal government trying to sanitize movies?

This ruling makes no sense if examined for hypocrisy.

The government mandates that broadcasters must do exactly what the courts have told a private company that it cannot – under any circumstances – do. The court upheld the intellectual property rights of the movie producers, but refuses to tackle the abridgement of the first amendment that is perpetrated every day by the Federal Communications Commission. What friggin’ sense does that make?

Written by Michael Turk