PTC blasts Fox Broadcasting

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PTC / Parents Television CouncilThe Parents Television Council issued the a statement in response to an FCC filing by Fox Broadcasting claiming that the company found 16 seemingly defective indecency complaints from across the country and therefore is questioning the entire constitutionality of the broadcast indecency law:


“There is a single question before the FCC: whether the material broadcast by Fox and other networks violated federal broadcast decency law – period,” said Dan Isett, director of communications and policy for the Parents Television Council. “It’s noteworthy that Fox doesn’t try to defend the November 10th episode of ‘Family Guy’ that contained explicit jokes about rape, molestation and sexual exploitation of children. Instead, Fox suggests that 16 seemingly defective complaints should undermine the court-affirmed broadcast decency rules and possibly undermine the constitutionality of the entire broadcast indecency law. It’s clear that Fox is making a calculated effort to re-litigate the U.S. Supreme Court cases that they lost and to circumvent the law rather than obey it. To whatever extent an indecency complaint filed with the FCC can be shown to be defective, those complaints should be set aside and dismissed. In no case does Fox assert that that all of the several hundred thousand pending indecency complaints are in any way defective, yet bizarrely suggests the FCC should ignore all of them without review.

Fox even goes as far to arrogantly suggest in its filing that it’s too easy for American citizens to file complaints, possibly insinuating that Americans shouldn’t have the First Amendment right to petition the government over a grievance. But free speech goes both ways.

Despite Fox’s desperate diversionary tactic, the FCC is bound by law to act, one way or the other, on the more than 400,000 pending indecency complaints before it, including those filed over Fox’s ‘Family Guy.’ The FCC’s responsibility to do so is not in question.”


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.

1 COMMENT

  1. The PTC doesn’t surprise me anymore with their half-truths and lying McCarthyist ways.

    What Fox actually said was that it’s easy for people to falsify information(such as names, addresses, etc.) on the complaint form or blatantly plagiarize a form letter that groups like the PTC post on their websites without actually having to watch the program in question at the exact time it aired on the network in question and that the FCC should investigate and verify the authenticity of the complaint before acting on the complaint itself.

    Once again, the PTC claims the networks “lost” in Fox v. FCC when that case actually ended in a draw(if both parties got something they wanted, is there really a winner or a loser?). However, it is inevitable that SCOTUS will have to reevaluate the Pacifica case.

    The burden of proof is not on Fox to prove the material in question is not “offensive” and “indecent”, but on the PTC and other complainers to prove that it was.

    Yes, it’s true that free speech goes both ways, so does trust that the complainants are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in their complaints. Otherwise, the complainant runs the risk of becoming “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

    And while it is true that free speech does go both ways, however, the PTC and other groups of their ilk would prefer that their voice is the only one heard in any debate over the entertainment industry. Talk about the pot meeting the kettle.

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