My Favorite Martin
4:45 PM -- Mommy! Mommy! Kevin Martin is missing the point (again).
From this morning's PR pile, a statement from the FCC chairman about the availability of "family tiers," or groups of channels that have family-friendly programming:
I am pleased that some cable companies may respond to consumer demand and begin to voluntarily offer family tiers. For several years, I have been urging the cable and satellite industry to give parents additional tools to help them address the increasing amount of coarse programming on television. Offering a family-friendly package has always been one of the options I supported.And now, The Philter's response to Chairman Martin's statement:
I look forward to hearing more about the details of their plans and hope that it will provide parents with real options to address parents’ legitimate concerns with having to purchase programming that they believe is unsuitable for their children.
The only tool a good parent needs to deal with coarse programming on TV is the remote control.— Phil Harvey, Common Sense Editor, Light Reading
Seriously, Chairman Martin, stop bothering service providers, and let the cable and satellite industry program their services however they wish. It's hard enough for them to make a buck in the TV delivery business without some glorified hall monitor offering to sanitize the universe for four year-olds.
Four year-olds are sweet, precious, and they deserve the best entertainment available -- so let their parents figure out what that is.
And know this: your words wouldn't seem so meddlesome if they were coming from a man who was making it possible for all Americans to have real broadband access (5 Mbit/s and up), or a man who was working hard to ensure that the rest of the world isn't lapping the U.S. in the race to provide 3G and 4G mobile broadband services.
You may well be doing those things, but the only impression a lot of people have of you is that (1) you are hellbent on making sure broadcasters are saying things like "heckbent" on their networks, and (2) you look like you could be the drummer for The Wiggles.
Item 1 goes way beyond greenlighting a bunch of mergers. It involves talking more about creating some real incentives for companies to wire this land from sea to shining sea and less about the seven dirty words, the eight-second delay, and the travesty that there really are guys out there named "Mike Hunt."
The RBOCs' plans to build FTTRG (fiber to the rich guy) is a great start, but there's much more work to be done to encourage true broadband access everywhere.
I don't know how to fix Item 2. Try wearing less yellow.