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watching_tv (1)Chairman of the Senate committee on Elder Grievances John McCain is boldly taking on Big Television to address an issue dear to wrathful retirement community members everywhere: the cable bill is apparently too damn high. (We would not know. Your Wonkette has never had cable, because snore.) Ol’ Walnuts has introduced the Television Consumer Freedom Act, to defend history’s most sacred freedom of all. The bill would encourage cable companies to offer channels a la carte in lieu of the current tyrannical model, which forces consumers to pay for bundles that include unwanted channels. We do not care whatsoever about how much people must pay for mindless entertainment, but here is where we would like to note that the traditional congressional approach of “always doing nothing” to stop this crisis would likely better serve the American public by possibly encouraging cable television viewership to continue to decline. We assume, however, that John McCain’s heroic effort is aimed at making sure he doesn’t break with that other congressional tradition of “always making things worse.” In McCain’s defense, why ruin a perfect record?

From The Hill:

In a speech on the Senate floor, McCain cited government research that found that the average price of “expanded basic” cable service has increased from $25 per month in 1995 to more than $54 today.

“This is unfair and wrong — especially when you consider how the regulatory deck is stacked in favor of industry and against the American consumer,” McCain said.

And here are some additional sentences in which John McCain earnestly worries about an issue affecting the American consumer that is in no way related to predatory lending, student loan debt, food labeling, health care access or any one of several thousand million issues more germane to the survival of humans:

McCain argues that his bill only leverages special government benefits that TV companies currently receive and does not mandate a specific business model.

“The government has already entered the marketplace, and conferred certain rights and privileges like the compulsory license, network nonduplication, syndicated exclusivity and retransmission consent, which stack the deck in the favor of everyone but the American consumer,” he said.

We look forward to John McCain’s upcoming initiative to promote a wider variety of reading material in America’s dental office waiting rooms followed by a much-needed push to deregulate the sale of pet ferrets. [The Hill]

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