MIM’s Filed Comment to the FCC regarding decency standard change
Morality in Media opposes any changes to the current decency enforcement standard of the Federal Communications Commission. We specifically oppose the changes suggested by the FCC in GN Docket No. 13-86 because the Federal television decency law, 18 U. S. C. 1464, on its face prohibits all acts of indecency and profanity on broadcast TV. Thus the proposed changes would violate that law. Those changes would specifically allow indecency and profanity on the publicly owned airwaves at times of day when children can be expected to be in the audience.
The FCC has been derelict in the enforcement of the decency law under the leadership of its outgoing Chairman Julius Genachowski, having executed no enforcement actions during his tenure. Under the proposed standard, it is impossible to see how things would improve.
Morality in Media wishes to further express our concern, and indeed our outrage, that the FCC, as mentioned in Public Notice for GN Docket No. 13-86, has discarded more than one million citizen complaints regarding broadcast indecency, in part due to the Commission’s own deleterious behavior regarding the complaint process. The FCC violates the trust of the American public as well as the spirit of 18 U. S. C. 1464 by ignoring citizen complaints.
The FCC’s current enforcement standard has been scrutinized for several years by the courts, including by the United States Supreme Court in FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 132 S. Ct. 2307 (2012) and the broadcast networks are on notice of this standard. It makes no sense to now establish a new standard and possibly tie up that standard in court litigation again. Sincerely, Patrick A. Trueman President & CEO Morality in Media