The Parents Television Council (PTC) has issued a press release commenting on the FCC proposal to end fines for broadcasting fleeting strong language and nudity like Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction'.
The PTC President Tim Winter wrote in a press release:
The FCC asked for the public's comment, and they got it. By a margin of nearly 1,000 to 1, the American public told the FCC to enforce existing broadcast indecency law, and not to weaken it. The only question now before the FCC is whether to
heed or disregard the public's comments that they, themselves, asked for.
The broadcast networks and their agents continue to cloud the issue at hand by arguing against the very existence of the broadcast indecency law. They are trying to re-litigate the Supreme Court cases that they lost, rather than focus on the
FCC's proposal to focus only on 'egregious' instances of indecency.
It is essential for the FCC to remember whose interest it is that they are mandated by Congress to serve. The sheer volume of public comments -- over 102,000 comments that were individually filed by individual Americans, and were roughly 1,000
to 1 in favor of keeping existing indecency standards -- speaks louder than the broadcast networks that want to dismantle the law.
The American people have spoken. We call on the FCC to hear and to heed the public's overwhelming support for the existing broadcast indecency law. And we call on the Commission to reject the proposed change to the law as crafted by its
outgoing and now-departed chairman.
Last week, ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC each filed individual requests to the US TV censors of the FCC asking for the removal of
government-regulated indecency standards.
According to FCC.gov:
It is a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours. Congress has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the responsibility for administratively enforcing these laws, the FCC's website
continues. The FCC may revoke a station license, impose a monetary forfeiture or issue a warning if a station airs obscene, indecent or profane material.
In response to the current laws, the major TV networks expressed their desires to overturn the restrictions of the FCC's indecency standards.
The FCC should affirm that it has no right to deny broadcasters the same First Amendment protections enjoyed by every other medium of communication,
Broadcast TV is not a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of 21st century Americans.
US morality campaigners of the Parents Television Council have launched #NoIndecencyFCC Week, May 6-10. They are hoping to encourage moralists to file public comments to the FCC's proposal to limit broadcast indecency complaints.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
We are focusing on #NoIndecencyFCC to let the FCC know that we consider its proposal to limit broadcast indecency complaints extremely troublesome. Only pursuing so-called 'egregious' complaints from the public about indecent TV or radio content will
lead to broadcasters pushing the decency limits even further -- including the airing of nudity or harsh profanity when millions of children are in the audience.
Federal law limits the broadcast of indecent material to the times of day when kids are much less likely to be in the audience, making no distinction for 'egregious' instances. Either material is legally indecent or it is not, and the 'egregious' nature
of violating the law should only dictate the punishment a broadcaster faces for breaking that law. It is unnecessary for indecent content to be repeated many times in order to be actionable, and it is unwise for the FCC to pursue a new course that will
guarantee nothing but a rash of new litigation.
We are encouraging the public to share its concern with the FCC in a public comment by the deadline of May 20. To date, over 90,000 public comments have been filed, most of them expressing outrage that the FCC would even consider such a proposal.
If this proposal is adopted, the greatest harm will fall upon our children and grandchildren, who already face waves of explicit content when they use the airwaves of which they, too, are co-owners. The FCC proposal erodes a parent's recourse for
broadcast decency enforcement and, instead, cedes control of our airwaves entirely to the entertainment industry. It's time to say #NoIndecencyFCC!
The PTC is also encouraging people to take to Twitter using the #NoIndecencyFCC hashtag.
President Obama is expected to nominate Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and longtime Obama supporter, as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the US TV and communications censor.
He's beloved in the telecom industry, a former Obama administration official says of Wheeler.
An industry newsletter notes:
Having spent his entire career representing businesses, running businesses and investing in businesses, Wheeler undoubtedly will have a light regulatory touch in all matters. And that's not something you can say about most Democrats.
After the US Supreme Court's decision in FCC v. Fox Television Stations in September 2012, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has initiate a review of the Commission's broadcast indecency policies and enforcement to ensure they are fully consistent with
First Amendment principles.
In the interim, the Chairman directed the Enforcement Bureau to focus its indecency enforcement resources on egregious cases and to reduce the backlog of pending broadcast indecency complaints.
The Bureau has reduced the backlog by 70% so far, more than one million complaints, principally by binning them on the grounds that it had taken so long to process them that they were too stale to pursue.
The FCC now seek comments on whether the full Commission should make changes to its current broadcast indecency policies or maintain them as they are.
Update: American Family Association have their two Penneth
The American Family Association, a major pro-family group, has announced that Americans should
petition the FCC to uphold high television, radio decency standards.
In addition to the overarching negative impacts of indecency in media on children, a more immediate issue exists: radio 'shock jocks' that thrive on shocking even the most hardened of sensibilities will have even greater latitude to express even more
profanity without the worry of FCC censure, states AFA.