Conservatives are reigning supreme in Afghanistan and the United States, especially in their advancement of censorship.
In Afghanistan, a country whose regime was installed thanks to the U.S. invasion of that country several years ago, the minister for information and culture, Abdul Karim Khurram, an Afghan conservative, has ordered television networks to stop broadcasting five soap operas because they were not consistent with “Afghan religion and culture.”
Meanwhile, Khurram’s counterparts in the United States — the members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), all of whom have been appointed by President Bush, an American conservative — are fining U.S. television networks for “fleeting” use of profanities on live awards shows.
Thank goodness for conservatives! How else would people be protected from inappropriate words and programs on television? We wouldn’t expect people to take personal responsibility for what they choose to watch on television, would we? How in the world could we trust them to make the “correct” choices? What if lots of people made the “wrong” choices, as they were doing in Afghanistan, given the enormous popularity of the soap operas that were canceled?
Hey, maybe we ought to extend the jurisdiction of the FCC to newspapers, magazines, and books sold in the United States. After all, should we trust the same people who can’t be trusted with television choices to make choices on what to read and look at in publications?
Addressing the FCC matter, the Nashville Tennessean put it well in an editorial: “Once the government can decide what is obscene, they can easily move on to what is ‘dangerous’ speech because it disagrees with the politics of the current administration. The other word for it is censorship, and that is a dirty word, indeed.”
Don’t tell that to U.S. officials. They’re still convinced that their military invasion and occupation have brought “freedom” to Afghanistan, the same type of “freedom” that the FCC brings to America.