Wednesday, November 16, 2005

FCC lax on indecency (but God's not)

Seems the FCC levied nearly $8 million in fines last year, but 0 through September of this year, despite 189,000 complaints. New FCC chairman Kevin Martin was expected to up the enforcement activity, so I wonder what's going on. Perhaps this(?):
Mr. Martin, a Republican, has had difficulty achieving a majority among the four
sitting commissioners on some indecency complaints before the FCC, prompting
some aides to suggest he reduce the backlog by seeking fines or dismissals in a
more piecemeal fashion, rather than resolving a large number at once.

And this(?):
Two other commissioners, a Republican and a Democrat, generally favor more
modest actions, and their unease at handing out big fines and expanding the
FCC's definitions of unacceptable programming has slowed Mr. Martin's efforts.
Seems answers will not be quickly forthcoming:
Mr. Martin declined to be interviewed, addressing concerns about the slow pace
of indecency enforcement in a statement. "We are working very hard to address
the backlog of complaints before us, which is fairly substantial," he said. "In
clearing out this backlog, we are trying to act in a consistent and
comprehensive manner."
Seems some people are looking for guidance on what is and isn't indecent:
Mr. Martin wants to provide that guidance, aides say, so that networks and local
stations will know, for example, when it is acceptable to broadcast the f-word
.... "Broadcasters would like a little more clarity," says Dennis Wharton,
spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters. "If we know what the
rules are, we'll play by the rules."

Or are they looking to see how far they can push the envelope?

As noted in the story, is it not indecent to use the F word in a movie like Saving Private Ryan, but indecent to do so in, say, an awards show?

There will always be debates as to what's indecent, and whether the government should be involved in such issues (or, to what extent it should be involved). I'm not clear on the grayer areas of this issue, but my first concern in what I watch, say, and portray to others is, "Would Jesus be offended by it?" We shouldn't have to wait until some government official tells us what is indecent. There will be more FCC heads in the coming years, with a variety of ideas about what is and isn't indecent. And with many people considering the Constitution to be a "living document," who's to say how far they'll attempt the push the envelope?

God willing, we Christians will focus more on being pure light in a dark world rather than allowing the shadows of perversion slip in.


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4 Comments:

At 18:05, Blogger Thomas said...

if you don't like it, turn it off.

 
At 18:38, Blogger Jeff said...

Well, that wasn't the main thrust of my post, but to your point: At what point would you want your child to stop watching? Or do you think it's OK for him/her to watch anything? Or is it "to each his own"? And if so, don't you think that regularly viewing such material just might have a detrimental effect not only on that person, but on those around him/her? How about we at least start with the most egregious offenses, especially when it comes to pornography. And I hope you don't consider that "speech." It says nothing of value.

 
At 17:28, Blogger Jay Adkins said...

Jeff,

I have to agree with you. Just yesterday, I noticed a cartoon on television called Street Fighter II and I'm telling you...every other word in this cartoon was a curse word.

I was absolutely disgusted because you know that there are kids everywhere watching this cartoon and the cartoon is just demonstrating to them that the language being used is no big deal.

Where have the values gone since our grandparents and parents where kids?

 
At 09:51, Blogger Jeff said...

Agree, Jay. Other examples are Howard Stern, who is on in our area during the morning hours, when kids could be listening while getting ready for school. It seems there no longer is a time where it's safe to watch TV or listen to the radio.

 

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