September 14, 2004

MIM commends FCC for $550,000 indecency fine imposed CBS for 2004 Super Bowl Half-Time Show performance

NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, Inc.

NEW YORK (14 September 2004) – Robert W. Peters, President of Morality in Media, had the following comment on the announcement that the Federal Communications Commission has imposed a fine of $550,000 on CBS Television for the “Super Bowl 2004” breast-baring incident:

““To our knowledge, this is the first time in the history of broadcasting that the FCC has fined a broadcast TV network for airing indecent programming. It is a significant step forward for the FCC and one that we hope will be repeated as needed until broadcast TV networks get the message that they are not above the law.

“Decades ago, the broadcast TV networks had a strong industry-wide code and self-imposed internal standards that generally reflected community standards. No longer. Today, TV networks are primarily interested in reaching morally challenged teens and young adults, and one way to do that is with programming that is sexual or vulgar.

“Opinion polls have repeatedly found that large majorities of adult Americans are offended by the glut of sex and vulgarity on TV. Parents in particular are also concerned about the effects that TV sex and vulgarity are having on children.

““Countless articles critical of TV sex and vulgarity have appeared in secular and religious publications. There have also been many studies conducted by organizations such as the Center for Media and Public AffairsKaiser Family Foundation and Media Research Center that show how sexual and vulgar broadcast TV has become.

“With so much concern expressed by so many over so long a period of time, it is inconceivable that TV networks never once violated the broadcast indecency law until today. The reality is, of course, that until today the FCC was not doing its job.

“Broadcasters say they have to air ‘edgier’ programming to compete with the handful of cable TV premium and basic channels that routinely flaunt decency standards. Some viewers undoubtedly have migrated to cable to feed on the ready supply of garbage there. But the primary reason the networks have lost tens of millions of viewers is because all too much network programming is bankrupt creatively and morally.”

Author: MIM   09/14/2004

Further Reading