The FCC is seeking public comment on their plan to reduce their responsibility to take action against obscenity and nudity on television. The proposed new guidelines for broadcast television would require “egregious” indecency – “deliberate and receptive use in a patently offensive manner.”
In their April 1 public notice asking for public comments the FCC announced it was reducing by 70 percent a backlog of over a million consumer complains regarding indecency on television. The proposed “egregious violation” policy will result in further reduction of consumer complaints. Under the new guidelines the FCC can simply declare that complaints do not meet the “egregious” standard and not proceed further.
The FCC website describes current law:
It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours. Congress has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the responsibility for administratively enforcing these laws. The FCC may revoke a station license, impose a monetary forfeiture or issue a warning if a station airs obscene, indecent or profane material.
Clearly the current commissioners on the FCC no longer want the responsibility. In president Obama’s first term only one proceeding against indecency was filed: a case against Fox television for a scene of bestiality on AMERICAN DAD. The fine was only $25,000 and was actually for Fox’s unwillingness to even comply with information requests.
TAKE A STAND
The FCC has set up a form on their website to receive comments.
1. Go to http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/begin?procName=&filedFrom=X.
2. Enter the code “13-86” in the “Proceeding Number” box and fill out the few remaining required fields.
3. Enter your comment in the text box provided and click “Continue.”
4. From there, review your comment and click “Confirm.”
Make the comment you wish. Below is a suggestion:
I oppose any changes to FCC indecency standards that would allow television and radio stations to broadcast any expletives and nudity on the public airwaves between 6am and 10pm, even if they are not deliberate and repetitive.
The Supreme Court ruled that the FCC has the authority to revoke a station license, impose a monetary forfeiture (a fine) or issue a warning for indecency as long as the stations are aware of the FCCs standards in advance of their offending broadcast. I favor strong, clear standards, consistently enforced.
As of May 7, 2013 there have been 93,238 comments posted. The highest number of comments ever posted to an FCC comment request was 236,292. The 93,238 is the fifth highest. Let’s make it the highest!
May 20 is the cut-off date set by the FCC to receive the public’s feedback on this issue. Please share this article on Facebook and encourage your family and friends to help us get the response up to 300,000.
As of 5/7/2013 – 93,238
As of 5/8/2013 – 93,432
Here is what the FCC form looks like: