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Please stop the nancification of cable

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Last week, Sen. Stevens, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, hosted informal hearings on regulating cable and satellite TV programming.

Stevens is under pressure from extremists who don't know how to operate the "off" switch on their television sets to save them from themselves.

The off button is available on most television sets, but it is frequently hidden in a welter of similarly shaped channel, menu, volume, DVD and possibly "julienne" buttons.

I discovered this wonderful feature about 10 years ago by accident, and now I use it all the time.

According to a survey published last month by TV Watch, the vast majority of Americans are against further government intrusion into deciding what's on television. Unfortunately, a powerful, influential minority, including Brent Bozell of the Parents TV Council and Media Resource Center, and Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin, still can't find that elusive off switch.

Sen. Stevens said, "The Supreme Court case that said we could not regulate cable was back at the time when they had about 10 or 15 percent of the viewers of America. Now they have more than 80 percent and very soon I think it will be almost 100 percent."

It sounds to me like the market has spoken. That's the American way and that's the way we like it. We urge Sen. Stevens to support markets over mandates, personal responsibility over nancification, smaller government over Big Brother, and, oh yeah, that First Amendment thingy.

If necessary, we can implement a federal training program for people to locate and operate the off button. If you need qualified trainers, give me a call.

Michael Christenson

Juneau



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