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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Censorship as Freedom


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.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.