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Report Says Nearly All FCC Indecency Complaints From Same Organization  Print E-mail
Home Theater News Industry-Trade News
Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Thursday, 06 January 2005


As we approach that magical time of the year for football, I was struck by a disturbing situation about complaints generated after last year’s highly publicized half time debacle. MediaWeek.com, an advertising industry trade publication, recently reported some interesting statistics in the wake of indecency complaints about last year’s Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction”. During testimony in front of Congress, FCC chairman and son of outgoing Secretary of State, Colin Powell spoke of the dramatic increase in complaints about indecency specifically referring to the weeks after the Super Bowl incident.


What Powell didn’t tell Congress because he was reportedly unaware is the fact that over 98 percent of the complaints about the Janet Jackson Super Bowl situation came from one Los Angeles based group called the Parents Television Council. Representatives from the PTC deny they have such vast power however with email access to the FCC who must take each complaint seriously, their power seems pretty obvious.

As the second term of George W. Bush’s presidency is about to start, our government and minority political groups are on the attack with one of our country’s most lucrative assets - the entertainment industry. While Janet Jackson’s left breast (I think it was her left breast – I wasn’t watching) might be offensive to some (or many) – heavily censoring, threatening, fining and limiting the freedoms of the entertainers and their media networks who create billions upon billions of dollars in taxable revenues and endless hours of entertainment for the world, is considered by just as many to be equally offensive. Left and right breasts are shown on TV in Europe on a regular basis yet European children aren’t any more likely to be serial axe murderers than children raised in this country.

Few are arguing that the Super Bowl incident and or even some comments by Howard Stern can be considered off color or distasteful. What is shameful however is that in America, small interest groups who don’t even come close to representing mainstream values or anything close to the middle of the road politically, can have such tremendous influence. It doesn’t matter if it is the NRA defending American’s rights to shoot deer with fully automatic weapons or some right-wing political group trying to keep kids from hearing the word “penis” on the radio – the fact is that such a small minority of people can now get treated as if they represent the mainstream in America.


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