Cal  Thomas

Anyone concerned about the preservation of the First Amendment and the rights it guarantees to free speech and free expression should be worried about this latest assault on the Constitution. Conservatives who oppose regulation of talk radio, which most of them like, must be consistent and oppose the over-regulation of TV content they don't like.

Increasingly, I meet parents of young children who have decided not to have a TV in the house. Having grown up with TV, they say they experience a period of "withdrawal," similar to that of breaking free of nicotine or other addictions. Soon, however, they are communicating more with their children, reading books to them and enjoying time together. Their lives are better without TV.

A conservative would call that a market decision. People decide not to consume a product that is bad for them. As the recent scare over bad pet food demonstrates, when consumers refuse to buy a tainted product and demand it be cleaned up, industry responds. When people have had their fill of really bad television, it will no longer be "Must See TV," but "Must Leave TV" and I'll bet the industry will clean up its act in response, or face additional losses in ratings and revenue.

That's better than the government trying to define violence and police program content and it will give conservatives more leverage, should a Democrat win the White House next year, to oppose any regulation of talk radio.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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