Tim, I think you are being too kind. If you look closely at what Martin is saying, a clear subtext is an extension of the FCC’s powers to include satellite and cable offerings: a big government solution if ever I saw it.
As for the a la carte option, Martin is certainly well within his rights to use his bully pulpit to call for it, but something tells me that legislation will be the next step. As for “filth”, remember that sometime back in the Clinton era big government insisted on the v-chip, but that, oddly, appears no longer to be enough. Somehow with big government, it never is.
Finally, let’s take a look again at the language that Martin uses:
“You can always turn the television off and, of course, block the channels you don’t want… but why should you have to?”
Underlying those words is the notion of the average American as a feeble, enervated creature, dependent on the state and unable to take decisions for himself, herself or his or her family. That’s the patronizing and condescending language of a Rodham or a Kennedy. How disappointing that, not for the first time, it is also the language of the Bush administration.
Over, once again, to Orwell, and his conclusion to Animal Farm: “No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”