The news that the NAB and NCTA and MPAA have hired uberlawyer Lawrence Tribe to make the case against regulation of violent media content was actually just another step in that direction by a media community already united to push the V-chip/ratings system as the most First Amendment-friendly way to give viewers more control of their content.
And while ABC has backed away from indecency challenges, it is on board with the push for the V-chip and with the latest step to bolster the media's defense by hiring Tribe.
Even if the move is not a quantum leap, it is good to see the united front flex its muscle a bit. As I repeat often, the odds are against any violence regulation bill making it into law, though I thought Blake was going to win American Idol. The momentum for violence regs already seems to be waning,though that just leaves more opportunity for hammering broadcast and cable over food marketing to kids.
It has seemed odd that there is so much emphasis on controlling fake violence when it seems there is real violence elsewhere in the world that it is in our interests to control. I would encourage policymakers to spend more time on battling real violence–like the death this week of yet another reporterm, and less on railing against the media.
Just a thought.
By John Eggerton