Satellite/cable TV channel TNT recently began showing episodes from the HBO series "Sex and the City." According to what I read, however, the show is considerably censored for its TNT showing, with nudity and profanity removed. On somewhat similar lines, it's not hard to see evidence of censorship on other popular channels like MTV and Bravo. It seems to be the rule that free satellite/cable channels like TNT - in other words, those available as part of one's basic satellite or cable TV service - are subject to censorship standards similar to those on broadcast television, while it's anything goes on the extra-cost, "pay" channels like HBO and Showtime. This rule is apparently policy rather than statute, as the Federal Communications Commission does not have jurisidiction over cable or satellite programming. Given that the stated purpose of censorship is to protect children, why is there a free-vs.pay distinction? It does not logically follow that children are less likely to watch HBO as opposed to TNT, to use my example, if they're both available in the home. Further complicating the issue is that there are a few free satellite/cable channels that do show nudity and other sorts of adult programming; these include Independent Film Channel and World Link TV, both of which are rather obscure noncommercial channels, and, oddly enough given its parent corporation's political leanings, Fox Movie Channel.