Great news from the FCC

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    FCC Chairman Calls for Reversal of Agency's 'F-Word' Ruling

    By Jody Brown and Allie Martin
    January 14, 2004

    (AgapePress) - A pro-family group is applauding word from the Federal Communications Commission that it is going to reconsider and perhaps overturn its earlier ruling in which it stated that use of an expletive, in certain context, does not violate broadcast indecency laws.

    The chairman of the FCC are calling on the other four commission members to overturn a decision handed down by the agency's Enforcement Bureau, which determined that the "f-word" uttered by singer Bono last January during NBC's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards was not indecent. The Enforcement Bureau decided that since the word was used as an adjective -- and not to describe a sexual act -- it was not obscene.

    Now, as Associated Press puts it, FCC chairman Michael Powell is "fed up" with the use of the f-word on the air -- and needs the votes of only two more commissioners to overturn the earlier decision. According to the Mississippi-based American Family Association, one of those could likely be Commissioner Michael Copps, who met with AFA representatives on Monday.

    Dr. Don Wildmon
    In a press release, AFA says it met with Copps to discuss "concerns with lax enforcement of FCC rules regarding indecent language" on broadcast television and radio. The pro-family group was encouraged by the meeting with Copps, who it says has been outspoken regarding the need to hold local broadcasters more accountable.

    AFA chairman and founder Don Wildmon calls the move by Powell -- and the meeting with Copps -- "a good first step in reigning in renegade stations and network producers." The pro-family leader, whose ministry operates a nationwide network of more than 200 Christian radio stations, says local television stations have an obligation to serve the public interest, "not tote the line for filth-spewing networks."

    According to AFA, supporters of its ministry have generated more than one million e-mails to the FCC commissioners, asking them to reverse their approval of the f-word on television. It appears that may now come to pass.

    Gov't Has 'Lost Its Mind'
    Last week, Mississippi's secretary of state wrote a harsh letter to the FCC, questioning their decision concerning use of the f-word during prime-time television. In that letter, Secretary of State Eric Clark asked commissioners if they are "insane" for allowing the well-known expletive to be broadcast during the "family hour" on network TV.

    Clark says commissioners must realize the consequences of their actions. "The popular culture says 'anything goes' in language, and that spills over into behavior, particularly for young people," he says.

    "In other words, if they can get away with saying anything -- and the popular culture says it's fine to say anything no matter how gross, vulgar, profane, or offensive -- then the message is it's okay to do anything no matter how terrible or how hurtful it is."

    The Mississippi official points out that under the nation's laws, the FCC is responsible for maintaining sane standards on television programs. "If the people who control television in the United States who have been appointed to these jobs [and] are supposed to be in charge ... haven't got any more judgment or any sense than that, then I think the federal government has just lost its mind," Clark says bluntly.

    In the January 5 letter, Clark asked the commissioners to either resign or enforce decency on the public airwaves. He then closed the letter with a verse from the New Testament (Matthew 18:6) in which Jesus said: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

    Clark says he has received no response from any of the FCC commissioners.

    © 2004 AgapePress all rights reserved.

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