Monday, April 14, 2008

A Fine Mess at the FCC

The FCC's enforcement of the indecency rules is stalled, reports the LA Times. The reason: a perfect storm of three factors: a Court of Appeals ruling against the rules (as I previously blogged), a pending Supreme Court case that will rule on the rules, and (finally) a growing broadcaster willingness to fight FCC fines, probably in part because the FCC has increased minimum fines ten-fold.

Now, even conservative-owned Fox is fighting back -- and that's just fine with me. The rules are more indecent than the content, and many if not most of the complaints are ginned up by the bluenoses at the Parents Television Council. They seem to think that night-time broadcast television needs to be cleansed of curse words to protect children -- the same children who hear these same words on cable TV, see, hear and write the same words on the Internet, hear the same words in school, and text the same words to their friends.

In short, a faux Victorianism benefits no one -- except perhaps the (often hypocritical) right-wing candidates for public office who fan the flames of the culture wars -- and reduces adult programming to silly doses of saccharine.

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