Sunday, May 7, 2017

Another Reason to Abolish the Unconstitutional FCC

I've called many times for the abolition of the FCC.  Its very existence is a blatant violation of the First Amendment, and its insistence that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of press".

And now we have another reason: the FCC plans to "investigate" Stephen Colbert's comment on The Late Show that Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin's "cock holster".

Over the years, there's has been general agreement, even among those who (wrongly) believe that some Federal regulation of communication is necessary, that political criticism, including satire and hyperbole, is precisely what the First Amendment was most intended and designed to protect.  How else can a democracy run, if comedians cannot take their best shots against government officials, including Presidents?   Does it matter in the slightest if such comedic sallies are crude or vulgar?  Of course not - crudity and vulgarity are ever in the eyes and ears of the beholder.   And the First Amendment makes no exceptions, period.

But we now have a President who, as evidenced in so many ways, is not interested in protecting our democracy and its democratic traditions.  We have a President who has denounced the New York Times and CNN as "fake news," due to their honest reporting of facts he does not like to see.  We have a President who is constitutionally illiterate - indeed, apparently illiterate in most uses of our language.

Should I be investigated because I wrote that?  If you believe that, then you're no better than Trump, and you have no understanding of democracy and its necessities.

We should not be surprised that the FCC in Trump's administration wants to go after a late-night comedian. But we should staunchly oppose that.  If ever there was a reason to abolish this unconstitutional agency, we have it now, before it becomes - in addition to all the damage it's done and attempted to do over the years - another weapon in Trump's hands.

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