Smoking Bans and the FCC

There is a debate here in Kansas City, MO whether to implement a law that bans smoking in eating establishments and bars. Let me be clear; I hate smoking! I always have, and I always will. I am also dubious of the social Darwinian promise that the market is a cure for everything. This being said, I think that the market is the best solution for the issue of smoking in eating establishments and bars. I am opposed to passing legislation that would require eating establishments and bars to ban smoking (though on a personal level, I would enjoy my bar experience much more!) Let bars that want to allow smoking operate however they want to, as long as smoking remains legal. Consumers really do have a choice of attending smoking establishments. They can choose not to attend these establishments, and if enough consumers take this route, the bars and eating establishments will change policy on their own--without legal involvement. I'll be the first one to admit that I hate coming home after a night at a bar, the casino or a smoky restaurant with my clothes and hair smelling like I just spent the night in a chimney. This is part of the reason that I don't go to these establishments very often. I choose to go to restaurants that are well ventilated, or completely free from smoke. Paint me libertarian, but I just don't think legislation is the answer for this issue.

As for the FCC, fuck them! Yesterday, I heard that certain ABC affiliates were not going to air the movie Saving Private Ryan because they feared reprisals from the FCC over obscene language in the movie. What's obscene here is the FCC itself, and the cowering ABC affiliates. This is moving towards pure and simple censorship. Let me get this straight; because of Janet Jackson's boob, millions of Americans are denied access to an Oscar winning, critically acclaimed, semi-documentary about the heroes of WWII on Veteran's Day? Prime time notwithstanding, individuals still have the option of turning the channel or turning off the TV. I am not a big user of profanity, but I am certainly in favor of people being allowed to say whatever they want to say, expressing themselves in whatever language they choose. It's language! Words! I can't believe people get so bent out of shape over words. There are a lot more words that are not considered obscene by the FCC that do society much more harm. At least people can still curse on the Internet, and over the phone. Will this freedom be targeted next?


Sharon Jo said…
I tend to agree. Network TV aired Schindler's List, and it certainly had profanity and nudity, to boot. Why is the showing of Saving Private Ryan on network TV different? Because it was more important to show the atrocities of the Holocaust than it is to show the atrocities of battle? Is profanity really the issue? Or do the censors not want the public to view Saving Private Ryan and draw comparisons to the war we are currently in? Just wondering. Sharon

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