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Press Release

March 13, 2008

PTC: GAO Needs a New Calculator

Indecency Figures Flat Out Wrong


LOS ANGELES (March 13, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ sharply criticized the Government Accounting Office (GAO) report today that claimed only 16,076 programming complaints were filed at the FCC from 2003-2006.


“It appears that GAO got its calculator from the Enron accounting office.  You would think that a government agency with accounting in its middle name would know how to count.  We know for certain that broadcast decency is the issue that gets the most complaints at the FCC and that the GAO number is flat out wrong,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“The GAO’s math is obviously fuzzy.  The Janet Jackson Super Bowl striptease produced over 65,000 complaints from PTC members alone, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of people who complained to the FCC directly about this.  According to data on the FCC web site today there have been 2.13 million indecency complaints during the time period studied in the GAO report.  It appears that the GAO is attempting to intentionally diminish public sentiment on broadcast decency. 


“The FCC’s own complaint numbers are staggering compared to the GAO’s paltry figure.  Could it be that the GAO is not counting each and every citizen’s complaint?  For the millions of people who complain to the FCC on any number of issues, this is a very serious concern.  GAO needs to count each and every American who has raised his or her voice.


“The GAO’s credibility is on the line.  Congress must investigate and hold GAO to an accurate standard of accounting.”


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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