January 24, 2005


Turning up the volume over TV indecency (Jonathan Storm, 1/16/05, Philadelphia Inquirer)

As the broadcast networks prepare to face the nation's TV critics tomorrow at their winter meeting here, indecency is Topic A.

Easily mobilized and aided by the Internet, a small army has pelted the Federal Communications Commission with protests. [...]

"There isn't a day that's going by now where we're not affected. We're looking at Family Guy right now, product that aired without incident two or three years ago," said Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman, referring to the irreverent cartoon that started on Fox in 1999, then went to cable, and is returning because of its popularity on DVD. "It's just nebulous."

Lara Mahaney is unsympathetic.

"They should be grateful that they've gotten away with as much as they have for as long as they have," said Mahaney, director of corporate and entertainment affairs at the Parents Television Council, the primary organization stirring the commotion.

The battle over TV indecency is never-ending, rising cyclically and then quieting down again.

This time, however, it's different, and none of the nearly 20 people throughout the business interviewed for this article would speculate on when the controversy would die down.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell says the commission will make a priority of enforcing indecency rules. The issue has gained a special appeal to politicians, who know it is an important issue for some voters.

Don't want to be bound by the rules of the public airwaves? Stick to DVDs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 24, 2005 7:54 AM
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