May 10, 2013
The Federal Communication Commission ("FCC" or "the Commission") has announced that it is seeking public comment on a proposal that seeks to relax its regulations that enforce the broadcast decency laws enacted by Congress. Under the new proposal and new FCC practices, the Commission would focus its enforcement resources only on "egregious" cases of broadcast indecency.
Apparently, the Commission would like to allow "fleeting" uses of the most profane language. It would also like to allow instances of "isolated (non-sexual) nudity." One can only imagine where this would go.
The FCC's effort to weaken the indecency standards is especially incomprehensible. It is doing this even after the United States Supreme Court examined its indecency rules and declined to strike them down. In fact, Chief Justice Roberts told broadcasters that they were now on notice that the standards in place could be enforced. Furthermore, the Commission has dismissed thousands of complaints that were "stale" only because the FCC failed to act on them in a timely manner.
The networks have been in a race to the bottom for years, trying to outdo each other in "shock value" as they seek higher ratings and more money. If you give them an inch and they will take a mile. If the FCC lowers its standards you can fully expect to see an alarming increase in vulgarity, foul language, and nudity. Don't let them lower standards that are already too low.
Does this matter, and can you make a difference? The anwers to both questions are "yes." Here's why:
- Members of Congress will pay attention if the FCC gets a flood of comments instructing the Commission to reject any attempt to weaken the enforcement standards;
- Even the Obama Administration doesn't like to run into brick walls - massive resistance has a deterrent effect on further efforts to injure the public good;
- Finally, this is not a done deal because the Senate will be having confirmation hearings for a new FCC Chairman soon, but supporters of broadcast decency need evidence to show that they, not the broadcasters, represent the public's will as they extract promises from that nominee.
Take action and provide your own public comment to the FCC. If you follow this link, we offer sample text which you can edit to add your own language and writing style. The public comment period ends May 20, so time is short.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
FCC Seeks to Allow Nudity and Profanity During 'Family Hour'
Posted by PFOX at 3:49 AM