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Press Release

December 11, 2009

PTC: FCC Appointment of Stuart Benjamin Raises Serious Questions About the FCC’s Will to Enforce the Broadcast Decency Law

LOS ANGELES (December 11, 2009) - The Parents Television Council® called into question the FCC’s appointment of Stuart Benjamin to the new post of Distinguished Scholar in Residence for the Office of Strategic Planning.  He will reportedly work on First Amendment issues.  Mr. Benjamin has written about and has been quoted as saying that well-established broadcast decency law “should be found unconstitutional.”


“Broadcast decency is the law of the land.  The Congress has instructed the FCC to enforce the law, recent legislation has increased the fines for breaking the law, and for more than 30 years the Supreme Court has upheld the law – including two decisions this very year.  So naturally it is vexing to learn that a vocal opponent of the broadcast decency law would be named to work on First Amendment issues for the FCC,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“The appointment of Stuart Benjamin raises significant questions about how seriously the FCC intends to take its job to enforce the well-established broadcast decency law.  Mr. Benjamin’s record appears to be completely opposed to the legal obligation of the FCC with regard to safeguarding the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves during times when children are in the audience.


“The FCC has a backlog of 1.6 million indecency complaints from Americans and each complaint must be adjudicated on its merits.  We call upon FCC Chairman Genachowski to immediately affirm with deeds the comments he made before the Senate during his confirmation hearing, to wit, that the FCC under his leadership would be committed to enforcing the broadcast decency law. 


“It would serve the public interest well for the Chairman to spell out what, exactly, Mr. Benjamin’s responsibility will be in his newly-created position; and to clarify whether Mr. Benjamin will play any role in adjudicating the backlog of indecency complaints filed by the American people,” Winter concluded.


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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