LOS ANGELES (November 8, 2006) – The following is a
Parents Television Council™ statement about the FCC's decisions to
overturn two previous indecency rulings, and to uphold two additional
rulings that find that broadcasting the ‘f-word' and ‘s-word' is
"The FCC rightly held that Fox broadcasts of the 2002 and
2003 Billboard Music Awards
programs were indecent. However, we are disappointed that two other
previous rulings on obscene language were tossed aside," said L. Brent
Bozell, president of the PTC™.
"The FCC's ruling about the indecent language on CBS
Early Show is troubling.
The Commission has arbitrarily created a ‘news exemption' for indecency
where none existed before. In this case the
Early Show carried an
interview with a cast member promoting another CBS program, and that is
considered a "news" event? This creates a loophole big enough to drive
a truck through.
"Even more ominous is the creation of a provision for the
networks themselves to
determine what fits this ‘news' definition. Virtually any programming
could be called a ‘news' program. With the networks left to their own
devices and already arguing in court for an unfettered ‘right' to air
profanity at any time of day, this means that the American people will
be subjected to ‘f-bombs' and other raunchy, inappropriate language on
any program a network chooses to call a ‘news' show.
"Finally, the FCC maintains that only one complaint was
filed over ABC's NYPD Blue
in 2003, and because that complaint was incorrect, there is no basis to
consider action against ABC for the program in question. This is
factually incorrect. The PTC knows of, and has documentation proving
there were at least 96 separate complaints from individuals in at least
28 states filed with the FCC over the use of the words ‘B.S.' in
NYPD Blue. Once again, the
FCC Enforcement Bureau, which has a long, disgraceful and
well-documented history of botching, or simply ignoring citizen
complaints, has apparently dropped the ball, thus once again violating
its charter. This is an outrage.
"Today, the PTC brought this evidence to the FCC's
attention in a letter, with copies of the 96 complaints attached, to all
five FCC Commissioners. The PTC formally called on the FCC to review
and rescind its ruling, given the inaccurate information provided to it
by the Enforcement Bureau. The FCC has no right to ignore the public,
"Will the broadcast decency law be rendered null and void
if it's convenient for the FCC, or will the FCC commit itself to doing
the job as established by Congress? Today is a tremendous step
backwards for families across our nation."