Dubya’s new Heinrich Himmler, attorney general Alberto Gonzales, is taking over where the previous chief Nazi, John Ashcroft, left off, announcing to the world that he will use the full power of the federal government to stomp out obscenity.
Yeah, I know. In theory a Hispanic can’t be a Nazi. No blond hair or blue eyes but Hitler wasn’t a pure whitebread either. Gonzales may turn out to be worse than the bible-thumping, rights-hating, Constitution trampling jackbooted thug he replaced. As White House Gonzales wrote that the Constitution is “an outdated document.”
And he claims people who distribute what he and his tight-assed boss declare as obscenity do not enjoy constitutional guarantees of free speech.
“I am committed to prosecuting these crimes aggressively,” Gonzales said to a Washington meeting of the California-based Hoover Institution.
What crimes? The U.S. Supreme Court has struggled for decades to define “obscenity” and cannot. Who decides what is or is not obscene?
In Bush’s world, just about anything that offends the holy rollers who dominate the Republican Party is obscene. That covers a hell of a lot of territory.
On Dubya’s watch, the Federal Communications Commission has gone bonkers, handing out horrendous fines for anything they deem obscene or inappropriate. It started before Janet Jackson flashed her nipple-ring encrusted boob in last year’s Super Bowl halftime show and started a feeding frenzy against freedom of expression.
Congress, ruled by the same reactionary party of prudes that control the White House, wants fines against broadcasters who dare show a little flesh or utter a dirty word hiked to obscene levels.
Network programming executives, hardly a brave bunch, scramble to self-censor themselves before the FCC, Congress, the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice, decides they show too much skin, too much cleavage or too many scenes of people making love.
Even PBS, once a place for groundbreaking media, is scared. PBS President Pat Mitchell said the network, which depends on taxpayer funds for survival, is reviewing programming for “profanity, nudity or anything that may be deemed indecent.”
“We’re very concerned about the regulations,” she says. “They’re not as clear as all of us in the media business would like them to be. We have to make assumptions, second-guess what is liable.”
Jesus Christ. Thanks to the sexually-repressed Puritans of the Republican Party, we’re headed back to the dark ages. What’s next? Revival of the Salem Witch Trials? Public floggings? God only knows.
If Alberto Gonzales really wants to do something about obscenity, he should start with the chief purveyor of smut in this country – George W. Bush.
Obscenity is sending thousands of young Americans to die in a war based on lies. Obscenity is using fear of terrorism as a political tool to mislead our allies, the public and Congress. Obscenity is throwing the Constitution out the window, throwing Americans into jail without due process and spying on millions of innocent citizens. Obscenity is the President of the United States lying to the American public about his past, about the cost of his Medicare prescription drug plan and just about every other time he opens his mouth. Obscenity is allowing a homosexual prostitute access to the White House press room so he can shill for the Republican Party.
If you’re serious about ridding America of obscenity, Alberto, we suggest you start at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If you want to keep boobs off the tube, start with Dubya and the hypocritical cretins who follow him on the United States’ dangerous march towards a Facist state.