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May 23, 2013

Trashy Former Pop Star Drinks Her Own Urine on MTV in Ratings Stunt

If you had questions about whether Ke$ha was a classy lady-- questions that really ought not to persist, given that she really spells her name that way, "Ke$ha" -- consider them now resolved.

Some are using this provocation as a justification for renewing the calls for a-la-carte cable subscriptions. "Some" are, in this case, correct.

Anyone who now has cable pays for MTV. Cable companies negotiate a flat payment to a station for carrying it. MTV also collects revenues from advertising, but a major source of its revenue is the automatic "tax" MTV imposes on your cable bill every month. You have no way to avoid paying for MTV-- except for cancelling the service altogether.

Monopolies are generally not permitted to "bundle" services together. And local cable companies are usually monopolies, or, at best, have but one competitor-- and as all of them have instituted this bundling practice and will not stop the practice no matter how much the public clamors for it, the monopolies (or duopolies) at least appear to be in collusion on this point.

MTV will be defended on First Amendment grounds. Here's the thing: I can buy into that defense. I don't want to censor MTV.

But MTV's right to broadcast its expression -- which apparently now includes a strong urine-drinking component -- does not trump any citizen's right to not view that expression, or his right to not pay for/subsidize that expression.

Ke$ha wrote back to the h8rs and claimed "Change the channel if you don't like it."

Sorry, Ke$ha. Almost everyone complaining has changed the channel (if they ever watched MTV at all). But that doesn't change the fact that they are being forced by a monopoly or duopoly to pay for MTV every single month.

It's time for consumer choice in cable subscriptions. No American should be forced by a monopoly to purchase a product he does not want (and in fact may object to for profound philosophical reasons).

MTV can be permitted to continue its descent into Porn for Children (TM) only if citizens are likewise permitted to not subsidize it.


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posted by Ace at 03:36 PM

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