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The Censorship of Television


My argument proceeds in four steps. In the section that follows, I sketch the shape that television will take, and the effect on competition this future will have. The conclusion here is familiar — that the future will produce much greater competition in the range of choices that television presents. In the section following that, I develop the argument that this increase in choice will reduce the demand for democratic TV. This, I argue, follows from an under-developed feature of the speech Fiss calls “democratic.” In the third section, I consider a second and more troubling consequence of this competition — that the resulting speech related to public affairs might pervert, rather than simply not inform, the democratic process. And in the final section, I then compare the consequences for democratic speech that this change in architecture produces to the threat that Professor Fiss describes. Architectural censorship, I conclude, is the greater threat.