MAY: A la carte cable by demand
Now recall my desire to purchase only The Washington Times’ sports pages rather than the entire paper. At the outset, I said that no one thinks the government should — or could — mandate that the newspaper be required to satisfy my desire. This is because the First Amendment prevents such government intervention with respect to the exercise of the paper’s editorial discretion regarding the packaging of its content. In his opinion in the Tennis Channel case, Judge Kavanaugh declared the Federal Communications Commission’s interference with Comcast’s editorial discretion regarding what channels to carry and where to place them cannot stand “in light of the Supreme Court’s precedents interpreting the First Amendment and the massive changes to the video programming market over the last two decades.”
Especially in light of First Amendment considerations, Mr. McCain should direct his attention toward getting rid of existing regulations on video providers, not adding new ones.
Randolph J. May is president of the Free State Foundation, an independent, nonpartisan free-market-oriented think tank.