Battle Over TV Indecency, Profanity Heats Up

Julius Genachowski
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski speaks at a press conference in January 2012. (United States Mission Geneva / Creative Commons)

Morality in Media (MIM) announced Tuesday it will fight changes to lower Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards regarding indecency and profanity on broadcast TV. The organization is demanding that the Commission stop shirking its responsibility and enforce current laws that prohibit nudity, indecency and profanity. MIM asks supporters to make their voices heard and demand the FCC enforce the law.

“The FCC is all we have to protect our children from indecency and profanity on TV and it must begin to do its job now rather than change its enforcement standards,” said Patrick A. Trueman, president of Morality in Media. “The Supreme Court has ruled that people have the right to be left alone in their own homes and that networks have no First Amendment right to force indecency upon them.”

Trueman added, “It should be remembered that the public airwaves belong to the public. If networks don’t like the rules, they can move their programming from broadcast TV to cable or satellite.”

Instead of fighting for the rights of parents, the FCC under Chairman Genachowski sided with the networks and did not enforce indecency standards. This was despite U.S. Supreme Court rulings that upheld the public right to decency. As recently as June 2012, in FCC v. Fox, the Court supported these standards.

A statement from the FCC shows they’ve reduced the backlog of indecency complaints by 70 percent, but this is mostly due to their ignoring complaints and waiting until too much time had passed. The FCC has to do its job so that TV is not just for those willing to accept indecency and profanity. If viewers choose to view that content, they can pay for cable.

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