Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Stevens (R-AK) is trying to get an anti-indecency measure passed out of committee over the summer down to the Senate floor for a vote. Jay Rockefeller’s S. 1780, the "Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act" would codify the FCC’s right to punish broadcast outlets for inadvertent fleeting indecent utterances. Stevens is a co-sponsor, as is committee chair Daniel Inouye (D-HI). In a release, Stevens explained that the bill "…would require the FCC to maintain a policy that the broadcast of a single word or image may be considered indecent." The FCC’s defense of such a policy was shot down in the Second Circuit and a DoJ/FCC appeal is currently being considered by the Supreme Court.
"I urge the Senate to take up this important legislation," said Senator Stevens. "Radio and broadcast TV are still the way most Americans get their news and entertainment. Whether sitting in a car with your children or in front of the TV, the American public should be able to expect that they will not be barraged with unexpected indecent material, whether it is through an image or a word."
RBR/TVBR observation: We would counter with this statement: "Whether sitting in a car with your children or in front of the TV, the American public should be able to expect that they will be able to hear and see live broadcasts of events of public interest or importance without broadcasters putting their bank accounts and/or licenses at risk from the nearest rowdy loud-mouthed jerk who can’t control him/herself near a live mic." The risk of an inadvertent f-bomb being dropped within earshot of our children is no greater when tuned into broadcast programming than it is when out in public. The never-ending small-minded quixotic attempt by the PTC and certain pandering public officials to create a false white-washed image of American speech, all over an event that rarely ever occurs in the course of hundreds of thousands of hours of broadcast material each and every week, should be squashed by the adults in the Senate who have the brains to turn back this ridiculous assault on free speech.