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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2011


 

New Poll Shows Americans Support the Broadcast Decency Law

PTC Urges Obama Administration to Fight for FCC Authority

LOS ANGELES (April 7, 2011) – The Parents Television Council® released new IBOPE Zogby International poll results today, which show 75 percent of Americans agree there is too much sex, violence and coarse language on television. A majority also supports the Federal Communications Commission’s legal authority to fine broadcasters if they air indecent material. Support for FCC indecency enforcement was highest among African Americans (71 percent) and women (62 percent), the two groups Nielsen identified as watching more TV than their race and gender counterparts.

The results come just ahead of the looming April 21 deadline for the Obama Administration to file a Supreme Court appeal in the Fox v. FCC “fleeting” profanity case. Without an appeal, the FCC will be stripped of its Congressionally-mandated authority over indecent broadcast TV content. PTC has asked members to take action by contacting the Obama Administration and urging Solicitor General Neal Katyal to act. PTC is also delivering a letter to Members of Congress that is co-signed by concerned citizens from across the country.

“The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals seems intent on obliterating the FCC’s ability to enforce the broadcast decency law. Unless the Obama Administration acts before the April 21 deadline, a three-judge panel in New York City will succeed in nullifying the will of the American people, the intent of the U.S. Congress and several decades of Supreme Court precedent,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“If that happens, broadcasters will be given the green light to distribute all manner of indecent content – from f-words to graphic sex – over the publicly-owned airwaves at any time of day, even in front of children. That prospect can’t sit well with the vast majority of Americans who agree there is already too much sex, violence and profanity on television.

“No doubt the industry and their hired mouthpieces will shift the blame to parents, rather than taking any responsibility for their own actions. Broadcasting is a privilege, not a right. A license is required to use the publicly owned airwaves, and those who violate the terms of their licenses should face a consequence for doing so.

“While the networks continue to argue for their ‘right’ to air f-bombs in front of kids, a majority of all Americans wants just the opposite – an FCC that can and will enforce broadcast decency laws. We urge the Obama Administration to stand up for parents and families by moving swiftly to appeal the erroneous Second Circuit ruling,” Winter concluded.

PTC paid for questions to be included in an omnibus telephone survey of adults nationwide, conducted by Zogby International. A sampling of Zogby’s online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was also invited to participate. For the April 2011 survey, the target sample was 2,185 adults. The margin of error was +/- 2.1 percentage points.

Results:
Q: Do you agree or disagree that there is too much sex, violence and coarse language on television?

Response

Frequency

Percent

 

Strongly agree

855.2

39.1

 

Somewhat agree

775.4

35.5

 

Somewhat disagree

331.1

15.2

 

Strongly disagree

156.2

7.1

 

Not sure

67.1

3.1

 

Total

2,185

100.0

 


Q: Congress instructed the FCC to fine radio and TV broadcasters if they air indecent material during times when children are likely to be in the audience. The broadcasters are suing the FCC to overturn this rule. Do you agree or disagree that the FCC should keep its legal authority to fine broadcasters if they air indecent material during times when children are likely to be in the audience?

Response

Frequency

Percent

Agree

1,236

56.55

Disagree

760

34.78

Not sure

189

8.67

Total

2,185

100.00


Other data:
--Support for FCC indecency enforcement was highest among African Americans (71 percent) and women (62 percent), the two groups Nielsen identified as watching more TV than their race and gender counterparts.
--Respondents age 25 and older, many of whom are parents and grandparents, were nearly twice as likely to support FCC enforcement than respondents under the age of 25 (58.3 percent to 30.7 percent, respectively).

 

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.


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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