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My letter to FCC's Michael Powell...

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posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 11:04 AM
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My letter to FCC chairman Michael Powell...

First read this link at Fox news:

www.foxnews.com...

I sent this E-mail to michael.powell@fcc.gov

Thank you chairman Powell, for being there to decide for me what exactly is indecent or offensive programming. I am a weak person, unable to head the warnings at the begining or throughout the program and unable to change channels or turn off the telvision when I see or hear offensive material. And thank you for invoking severe fines against those stations who offend me. ABC's plans to air "Saving Private Ryan" was especially troublesome what with all that terrible violence and bloodshed. I don't want my teenagers exposed to that awful war. Clearly, free speech and freedom of expression should be limited and I'm glad you're there to enforce that limitation.




posted on Nov, 13 2004 @ 06:58 PM
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LMAO nice. I got to see Red Dawn as a substitute for the first time ever, pretty good movie in it's own right.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:39 AM
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I am interested to know whether there are other ATS members who are troubled by the power that the FCC has in determining what is "decent" or "obscene" for you.



posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 10:45 AM
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What is so insidious about how the FCC works is that they say they take a "hands off" approach--they won't define what is obscene or indecent. They won't establish guidelines because they know that the definition of obscenity is a moving target and they would have a hard time winning in court when they are inevitably challenged.

Instead, they say that they leave it up to the public to define indecency. Sounds fair, right? Well, in establishing this rule, the FCC claims that they will act upon receiving complaints... however, complaints are received about every EVERY show. They pick and choose which complaints to act upon--and therefore seem to set parameters of what is indecent, but in a way that absolves them of the responsibility of defining it.

However, as they will target specific words and phrases on some shows, but will not fine other broadcasters for use of the same words and phrases on other shows (even though complaints are received for both), is somewhat puzzling and leaves all broadcasters with the impossible task of trying to manage the risk of receiving large fines against serving the public interest. The net effect is that programming is reduced for everyone--censorship is indirectly imposed, but it is censorship none-the-less. Obviously, this is problematic.

I don't think that any government agency should be attempting to define obscenity. It should be left up to the people to decide--and the decision is a personal one. Turn it off if you don't want to watch it.

And parents need to take responsibility for what their kids are watching. With show ratings and the ability to lock-out certain programs, parents that let the TV babysit their kids can prevent them from watching programming that they deem unsuitable.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 02:39 PM
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Very good post Img.

Just one question however (and I'm playing the devil's advocate). What should the FCC do, if anything, for situations similar to Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" where parents have a reasonable expectation that their children won't see anything undesireble they might deem undesirable.

As far as I'm concerned, I have no problem with my young children seeing the ocassional "nude" shot, provided there's no outward sex involved (they are 3 and 5). I feel that by making a big deal out of a situation like Ms. Jackson's only makes the problem out of proportion to what it really is. This includes the FCC's actions as well.



posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by Freedom_for_sum
Very good post Img.

Just one question however (and I'm playing the devil's advocate). What should the FCC do, if anything, for situations similar to Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" where parents have a reasonable expectation that their children won't see anything undesireble they might deem undesirable.

As far as I'm concerned, I have no problem with my young children seeing the ocassional "nude" shot, provided there's no outward sex involved (they are 3 and 5). I feel that by making a big deal out of a situation like Ms. Jackson's only makes the problem out of proportion to what it really is. This includes the FCC's actions as well.


Thanks! (It's Lmg, BTW)

I don't see what the hullaballoo is with breasts, either. I think that the scarcity of seeing them is what makes them so taboo. If breasts were all over the place, they wouldn't be a big, err, a small, err, well, you get my point.

But nonetheless, I do believe that people should know what they are getting in public television and have the option of filtering out content that they deem inappropriate. There should be a ratings system that is specific--along with a fixed fine schedule. This way, broadcasters know what they are getting into and can code their programs accordingly. Parents can also be forwarned that if a program that is rated "M-NAVS" for Mature Audiences only comes on, and that means there is nudity, adult language, violence, and sexual situations, it is time to put the kiddies to bed. Their cable service should also allow them to lock-out such programming if they aren't home so kids can't stumble upon it by accident (this technology is already available-why it isn't being used, I have no idea.) This could also apply to any person that doesn't wish such programming to be seen in their home.

So if someone complains to the FCC that they heard the f-word on TV last night, the response would be "Well, the show was rated M-A. If adult language offends you, you can turn that kind of programming off" and not censorship for everyone.

And when there are violations, broadcasters and talent will be well aware of the consequences. I think that if a solid ratings/fine system was in place and Janet Jackson was faced with the concrete reality that by violating the code, she would be going against the wishes of parents all over the country and personally facing a stiff fine, she might have thought twice (wardrobe malfunction, yeah, right. I don't know about you, but who the heck A--has a bustier that has removable cups and B--wears it on national television when there is a possibility that it could fall off.) I think that she might have been tangentally aware of the fact that kids watch the Superbowl, but she obviously didn't think about the full impact of her actions. If a solid structure was in place and live talent is made aware of the rules, as well as the full consequences of violating the rules, shock-value publicity stunts like this will be reduced. I think that the backlash after Janet's stunt will probably put an end to them anyway.

But as far as legitimate slip-ups during live-broadcasts, I think that these people are professionals and should still be held accountable. As much as I disagree with some people's definition of what is obscene, how some parents shelter their kids or other people's beliefs, they have the right to them. The compromise to all-out censorship is that there is the option of being able to shut out whatever is considered to be offensive. The only way to do that is to adhere to the rules.

Will this ever happen? I doubt it. I think that we are in for "faith-based" decisionmaking when it comes to what the general public is allowed to see. Perhaps this is why every program I watch is on cable....



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