Tuesday, January 07, 2014

"AC360 Later" analyzes individual rights in the Colorado pot issue, implications in speech areas?

Anderson Cooper’s AC360 returned in full the first Monday in January 2014, with the special AC360 Later segment, which now is different from the 8 PM segment, and usually has a panel discussion.  CNN has been broadcasting many of its documentary films, Morgan Spurlock undercover work  and Anthony Bourdain travel adventures during the holidays.  Sometimes there seem to be too many repeats.  Instant replay view through Netflix or Amazon becomes desirable for these

The panel discussion, using featuring “gay conservative” Andrew Sullivan, interviewed a guest who opposed legalization of recreational marijuana (however well regulated0 by Colorado.  The guest (former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, as a surprise) offered a disturbing, anti-libertarian and Santorum-like argument. He said something like “I have three kids”, and “as a father, I have to do something to reduce the risk of their getting hooked, or getting injured by a driver stoned on it”.  The rest of the panel went onto the obvious comparison to alcohol. Keep in mind, Morgan Spurlock had gone undercover on the medical marijuana issue (but not recreational) in Colorado in the summer (the "Inside Man" series; see this blog, June 23).   
But there’s another context.  You could make a similar “protect children” argument about Internet speech.  We saw that before with the legal battle over COPA (the Child Online Protection Act) a few years ago, as I have a whole blog dedicated to it.  Now the issue is before us again, more narrowly in trying to stop the Internet from being used to traffic underage girls – but by targeting service providers and gutting Section 230 protections having to do with liability for what their users do, which they can’t possibly screen for in advance.  (My latest posting on that was on the “BillBoushka” blog Monday, January 6.)  The connecting point is that if people want to speak out and gain attention in public, they ought to have a stake in sharing the responsibility for providing for others – that starts usually with having children in marriage.  At least one could have said that.
In the past, Anderson Cooper has talked unfavorably about self-published books (particularly after there was an outrage over a book on Amazon broadcasting pedophilia) and other Internet self-promotion (such as “extortion lists”, which Anderson covered in 2012, on my main blog (March 12, 2012). 
In sum, in some people’s minds, raising the next generation is a “common good” issue, and people who take the responsibility on need some statistical favor in the law, even if it means narrowing the freedoms of others, to activities more closely tied to actually providing for others in families. 

The link for the segment on recreational marijuana is "The Drawbacks to Legalizing Marijuana" here,  
In the earlier segment, Anderson interviewed former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer about the “Ogden memo” and the reluctance of states to move forward on their own regarding marijuana before Obama took office. The posting “Gone to Pot: The Big Business of Weed” is here
Cooper also discussed the tragic case of Jahi McMarh with Sanjay Gupta.  This takes family dedication a step beyond Terri Schiavo if a few years ago, because this time the victim is legally dead.
On ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday morning, the panelists discussed the idea of doctors Googling their patients (the opposite of the controversy over user rating sites and gag orders).
 On the issue of soaps, there is a story that Guy Wilson has been cast as gay character Will Horton on “Days of our Lives” and sill soon appear (link here), replacing Chandler Massey.  The episodes aired recently were taped as long ago as August 2013, which may explain some anomalies in Sonny’s (Freddy Smith) appearance. 

Picture: on top Dolly Sods, W Va., Aug. 2013;  who knows what illegal things grow wild and aren't even noticed\?  

(Note: I have sometimes called the segment "AC360 Late" but it is "Later"; yo have to use the "Later" to find it in Google..)

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