SCREEN-L Archives

December 2004, Week 1


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Dec 2004 06:20:07 -0600
text/plain (40 lines)
A report in MediaWeek investigates how a conservative pressure group has
been influencing the US Federal Communications Commission:

"According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all
indecency complaints in 2003 -- 99.8 percent -- were filed by the
Parents Television Council, an activist group. This year, the trend has
continued, and perhaps intensified. Through early October, 99.9 percent
of indecency complaints -- aside from those concerning the Janet Jackson
“wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show broadcast on
CBS -- were brought by the PTC, according to the FCC analysis dated Oct. 1."

The significance of this huge number of complaints is that the FCC does
not itself monitor American broadcasting. It relies upon viewer
complaints for an indication of community standards and their violation.
When a single, right-wing activist group like the PTC is able to
generate hundreds of thousands of complaints, it creates an image of
American society that is far removed from reality.

Moreover, it has succeeded in getting the FCC to unfairly fine
broadcasters for "indecent" material that the vast majority of TV
viewers find harmless.

For more, read the article in MediaWeek:

or the discussion of that article on Slashdot:

Jeremy Butler

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: