Is TV A Constitutional Right? - Twice

Is TV A Constitutional Right?

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I say no.

Sorry if this upsets everyone in the industry, but I just can’t go along with the government’s plan to spend at least $900 million so people who still receive over-the-air TV signals can go buy an analog-to-digital converter box.

Granted, it was the government’s decision to eliminate the analog spectrum, thus forcing everyone to upgrade, but our fearless leaders make decisions every day that require us to spend money and they never bother to pay us in those cases. So why now?

Just to double check that my personal feeling on this issue are in line with the Founding Fathers’ thoughts, I checked through the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and the Magna Carta and I did not find anything guaranteeing Americans the right to TV.

I did read a rumor Ben Franklin asked for TV rights to be added, but he was shouted down by James Madison who had no wish to do a rewrite on the Constitution. Interestingly, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as a measure to limit the federal government. So much for that.

My other fear with this kind of spending is where it may lead.

Why not give money to those of us without a Blu-ray player? Don’t my kids deserve to watch “Cars” in the best quality possible? How about a few bucks toward an XM or Sirius subscription or something a little extra for those of us who still don’t own an iPod?

Maybe instead of earmarking almost a billion dollars for the DTV transition, the government could merely tell everyone to take $40 out of the $600 federal rebate we are supposed to receive and put it toward a converter box?

Perhaps instead of worrying about everyone having access to “SpongeBob” and “Celebrity Rehab” our lawmakers could offer better care to the families of our troops serving overseas, or paying the death benefits to the families of two New York City auxiliary cops. Hell, I think the money would be better spent keeping both of NASA’s Mars rovers operating.

Any way I look at it the rebate coupon is a boondoggle and a waste of money better spent elsewhere.

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