Tuesday, January 25, 2005

FCC Spares the 'Rod'

The FCC yesterday rejected 36 complaints filed by the right-wing neo-nannies at Parents Television Council concluding that none of the segments in question were “patently offensive under contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium.” Most of the complaints focused on primetime broadcasts that featured use of the word "dick." Apparently, PTC has legions of TV watchers who have fine tuned their radar to catch every such utterance over our airwaves.

Jeff Jarvis theorizes on the forces behind the agency’s apparent change of heart:
“. . . the people in the FCC -- including even lame prude Michael Powell -- are secretly embarrassed that they have turned themselves into the nation's chief prigs and mouth-washers, that they have kneecapped the First Amendment, and that their tenure will be marked in history for the stupidity of following along with what they thought was a political movement but turned out to be only a few religious nutjobs with no lives.”
The PTC's executive "nutjob," Tim Winter responds:
FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s Commission has sanctioned the following content during the so-called family hour: a high school teacher refers to one of his students as ‘a big dick’; criminals hire a prostitute to have sex with a horse; and jokes about pedophilia and Michael Jackson’s penis. By what community standard is it not patently offensive during the family hour to broadcast these things?
For an added thrill, Jarvis goes on to list all of the rejected complaints, "all of them filed by PTC prudes who have no life and nothing better to do than listen for the word 'dick'." My personal favorite: During the September 18, 2002 airing of “Fastlane,” one character threatens another by stating: “. . .in my next life I’m coming back as a pair of pliers and pull off your nutsack.” Ouch!

Meanwhile, Winter takes the opportunity to promote the neo-nannies' choice of Commissioner Kevin Martin to replace Chairman Powell at FCC's top spot. Martin Joined Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps to dissent on parts of yesterday's rulings.


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness one govermental department had mature sense to say, "ENOUGH". This is no longer the middle ages or even the Victorian era. If one wants to protect one's children from the sins of TV, turn off the set! Go out side with your kids and have some fun!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is important. Each of us must take responsibility for offensive material on TV. It should not be left up to some government agency.

It also means that when we tell our children we are turning off the TV, we have to tell them why!

Anonymous said...

The Media has gotten away with too much for so long. I am tired of shows using language like this and pushing gay/lesbian subjects on shows on television. There are several shows I will not watch anymore due to the producers raging ideas of what they think america should hear and see on T.V. I am tired of it. If they can not grow up then I will have to turn them off.