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Press Release

March 17, 2008

PTC Praises SCOTUS Decision to Hear Indecency Case

Also Calls on Congress to Protect Children from Unedited Profanity


LOS ANGELES (March 17, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ applauds the decision of the

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Fox v. FCC.  The FCC and the U.S. Solicitor General petitioned the Court to review the Second Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that overturned the Commission’s finding that Fox violated the broadcast indecency law when it aired the “F-word” and “S-word” during live broadcasts of the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards shows.


The PTC and its members filed FCC indecency complaints over these two incidents and also submitted an Amicus brief in support of the FCC decisions.


“Millions of families are grateful that the Supreme Court has decided to review this indecency case.  Such harsh, unedited profanity is unacceptable for broadcast over the publicly-owned airwaves when children are likely to be watching.  By a mere 2-1 margin, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision had, in essence, stolen the airwaves from the public and handed ownership over to the broadcast industry.  We also praise the Solicitor General and the FCC Chairman for their efforts to bring this case to fruition in order to protect our children,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“Despite the proliferation of various forms of media over the past 25 years, broadcasting is every bit as pervasive today as was at the time of the Pacifica decision.  Broadcasters are only given a license to use the airwaves in the public interest and convenience; therefore the American people have a reasonable and time-honored expectation that the airwaves will be used in a manner that is beneficial to them.  If broadcasters feel they absolutely must do so, they can legally air indecent material after 10:00 p.m.


“Regardless of the Supreme Court outcome, Congress must renew its commitment to protecting children from indecent material on the public airwaves by immediately bringing S.1780 to a vote.  This would clarify the Congressional intent that even so-called ‘fleeting’ instances may meet the legal criteria for broadcast indecency.  Profanity by its very nature is ‘fleeting,’ and thus that is no defense for its use except during the time established by the Supreme Court.  Congress must act now to protect the public and the airwaves they – and not the networks – own,” Winter concluded.


TAKE ACTION NOW! Contact Congress: Bring S.1780 to a vote!


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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