Liberty on TV

Cable is one of the things I gave up when I moved to Portland. And since I don’t get decent broadcast reception in my apartment, this means I’ve given up TV entirely. By the time I arrived here there was very little left that I wanted to watch. I lost interest in Meet the Press after Tim Russert’s death, Boston Legal had only a few episodes remaining before cancellation, and aside from Top Chef everything else I watched just served as a distraction while at home. I’m happy to say that I don’t miss it at all.

It’s unlikely that I’ll go back to TV anytime soon. Much of what I want to watch is online already and, if I wanted to watch TV series, Netflix is much cheaper. I miss out on contemporary quality shows like Battlestar Gallactica, but cable competing with Netflix is essentially current television shows competing with all television shows that have come before. Given that I haven’t watched any of the acclaimed series from HBO or Showtime that have come out in the past decade, there’s not much reason for me to pay for cable instead of catching up via DVD.

All of which is a long way of saying that last Friday’s John Stossel and Drew Carey special Bullshit in America is the first show in a while to make me wish I could watch at home. (Or even better, in a room packed with friends in DC — Portland isn’t the kind of city that airs 20/20 in its bars.) Luckily, the show is available on YouTube. The arguments are oversimplified, of course, but they offer a much needed perspective in the mainstream press. Here’s my favorite segment, on federal medical marijuana raids:

President Obama and AG Eric Holder have admirably promised to end raids on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legally recognized by their state governments. However Charles Lynch, featured in the video above, remains a victim of federal prosecution. He will be sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in prison on Monday. If Obama is serious about respecting state law, he will issue a pardon in this senseless case.

The rest of the special and Drew Carey’s Reason.tv videos that inspired it can be viewed here.

Speaking of online videos, my friend Caleb Brown has put together what may be Cato’s best production yet. Here he tells the story of Susette Kelo, whose little pink house was notoriously seized by the city of New London with approval from the Supreme Court. Today the lot where her home once stood remains empty, a testament to government waste and eminent domain abuse.

Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    The Kelo thing reminds me that I ran into some FEMA retardedness you’d appreciate while in New Orleans…

  2. Mike says:

    Atta way to get me good and pissed on a Saturday morning! Thanks for the vid clips.

  3. Matt says:

    John Stossel is a butt weasel.

  4. Ben says:

    When we move to Portland you’ll have to give us the skinny on the liberty minded bars and hang outs.

  5. Jacob Grier says:

    @Ben: For sure! Before Jan 1 I would have said the Horse Brass, but the smoking ban drove all the cigar smoking conservatives and libertarians elsewhere. Broadway Cigar might be the new place to go. But there are plans in the works for a monthly libertarian happy hour… stay tuned…

  6. Maureen Ogle says:

    Jacob, have you seen/read the book about the little pink house? Little Pink House, written by Jeff Benedict. Just came out.

    I watch the really good TV stuff when it comes out on DVD. You gotta see Battlestar Galactica. And The Sopranos. Both absolutely worth the time invested.

  7. Jeff says:

    Little pink houses… not for you, for me.

    Ain’t that America… sigh…

  8. Jacob Grier says:

    @Maureen Ogle: I haven’t read it yet, but the author spoke at the Cato event in the video (along with Susette Kelo).

    BSG is definitely near the top of my list if/when I subscribe to Netflix.

  9. Mike says:

    @Jeff: You beat me to it.

  10. Matt says:

    Just as an aside, I actually was in the Supreme Court when they were hearing Kelo vs. New London, and I watched the guy who argued for New London moot the case too. I was impressed by how inept he seemed. And yet… he won.

    Also, did anyone get the butt weasel comment?

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