FCC Indecency Process Seriously Flawed

On the heels of a report showing the odd, politically-driven fluctuations in indecency complaints submitted to the FCC, two advocacy groups are claiming that the FCC’s indecency complaint process is “flawed.” As Ars reports, “central to the commentary is the assertion that activist decency groups encourage thousands of people to complain to the FCC about programs that they may not have seen themselves.” The groups say that “these crackdowns force TV producers and writers to second guess their own work, or have it second guessed for them.” In fact, “the FCC’s confusing decency rules deny children access to good TV programming.”

The groups’ qualms about the FCC indecency process is reminiscent of Brennan’s dissent in FCC v. Pacifica (quoted by Cord Blomquist in his media release about the death of George Carlin):

As surprising as it may be to individual Members of this Court, some parents may actually find Mr. Carlin’s unabashed attitude towards the seven “dirty words” healthy [ . . . ] Such parents may constitute a minority of the American public, but the absence of great numbers willing to exercise the right to raise their children in this fashion does not alter the right’s nature or its existence. Only the Court’s regrettable decision does that.