Thursday, September 12, 2019

Comcast files frivolous suit over Maine cable law

Comcast - the hated cable TV giant that has a monopoly on service in many regions - has teamed up with network muckety-mucks to file a federal lawsuit against the state of Maine because of a new state law regulating cable.

This law requires cable companies to offer a la carte access to channels. This saves viewers from having to pay for garbage like Fox News Channel. When a cable company claims you get 500 channels when all but 10 of them are home shopping and right-wing propaganda channels, it's price-gouging.

Comcast and the cable industry are laughably arguing that the law violates the First Amendment. That's like saying newsstands have a First Amendment right to collude and not let you buy the New York Times unless you buy the Washington Times too. The suit also argues that federal law preempts state laws like this. No, it cannot, as that would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.

It's not surprising that Comcast would cry that the law violates the First Amendment. Any time the Far Right can't cause as much grief as possible, they always claim it's a First Amendment issue.

Comcast thinks Baskin-Robbins should be required to sell Neapolitan ice cream to customers who only want strawberry and force them to throw away the chocolate and vanilla layers they're allergic to.

The FCC appears to be on Maine's side. The FCC once issued a statement that says there's no federal law prohibiting a la carte cable pricing. That doesn't mean some right-wing activist judge won't make up their own law and gut Maine's regulations. The Supreme Court makes up its own laws all the time.


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