If asked to think of the lasting legacies of Ronald Reagan, you might conjure up the long shadow of US military intervention in Central America or the coordinated attack on organized labor and public-sector programs. Probably few of us would think about the spectacle of Shrek hawking Twinkies. But one lasting consequence of Reagan’s reign is felt by every parent in the country every day: As president, Reagan opened the floodgates to targeted junk food marketing to children and teens.What Ronald Reagan has to do with Dora on your Popsicle package: the backstory behind Shrek hawking Twinkies (and everything else) [more inside]
It's been a decade since the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake wardrobe malfunction. What happened is still somewhat a mystery, writes Marin Cogan in ESPN Magazine. [more inside]
Super WiFi - "How the FCC paved the way for the next generation of wireless innovations." [more inside]
It doesn't seem as if the digital transition has been the resounding success we were told it would be. The FCC has admitted that they're confounded by some of the problems that have arisen across the country. With frustrated tv viewers mobbing the FCC hotlines (and major metropolises like Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore amongst the largest numbers reporting ongoing problems), some have yet to experience the mind-blowing crystal clear pictures and sound promised in those ubiquitous DTV commercials. [more inside]
FCC paves way for free use of vacant airwaves -- white space -- available in February as TV spectrum is cleared up by digital conversion. Apparently another vote for change will take place November 4. The FCC btw also recently backed a free (ad-supported) nationwide wireless broadband plan in another hunk of spectrum to be auctioned off in 2009.
The FCC, again, moves to loosen ownership rules for television and newspapers. A similar proposal in 2003 drew huge public opposition. This time, there is a narrow window for public comment, ending in mid-November. You can contact the FCC or go to the Common Cause page. [more inside]
FCC Denies PTC's complaints. (Salon article, get daypass or bugmenot) The FCC succinctly denied (pdf) the 36 count complaint from dismayed Parents Television Council. We've talked about previous decisions here and here - could this be a light at the end of the tunnel?
The Chilling Effect. Some ABC affiliates have opted not to broadcast a scheduled airing of Saving Private Ryan, due to concerns over new FCC indecency regulations. They don't want to get fined. The FCC won't say in advance whether the film is indecent ("that would be censorship"). But don't worry, the Parents Televsion Council says the "context" makes it OK. Which is fine, but who utlimately gets to judge the context?
Did Max Bickford get a v-chip implant? "...the FCC ruined television throughout the 1990s by allowing mega corporations and multinationals to gobble up TV networks and distribution outlets, including cable and satellite companies..." Now that the big corporations own the content, they obviously have the right to change it. It's capitalism, pure and simple, but it may also mean bad TV. Does the goverment have the right, responsiblity, or obligation to to re-regulate the industry, just so the quality of programming improves?