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Lone Activist Group Submits 99.8% of FCC Complaints

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the vocal-minority dept.

Censorship 1373

andywebz writes "Mediaweek is reporting that complaints to the FCC are rising. Powell spoke before congress, detailing that the complaints are up from 14,000 in 2002, to nearly 240,000 in 2003. There were only 350 complaints during 2000 and 2001. Powell failed to mention however that 99.8% of those complaints came from PTC (Parents Television Council). The article does mention he may have been unaware of this fact. Jonathan Rintels (president of the Center for Creative Voices in Media) commented, 'It means that really a tiny minority with a very focused political agenda is trying to censor American television and radio.'"

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PTC (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11011988)

PTC lost a LOT of their political clout after WWE kicked their ass in court [washingtonpost.com] a couple years ago. Other targets should repond the same way.

Let's anti-protest! (5, Insightful)

Corf (145778) | more than 10 years ago | (#11011995)

Alright, I'm going to write a letter to the FCC demanding that they keep doing things just the way they have been, smut-filled and all. Who's with me?!

Re:Let's anti-protest! (2, Insightful)

ZuG (13394) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012022)

I'm with you. But looks like it'll be drowned out by the 240,000 comments from people who want the government to protect their precious children so they don't have to.

Re:Let's anti-protest! (5, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012076)

I wonder how many of those people have any children to be exposed to TV, and how many are trying to protect other people's children even though they have none of their own?

Re:Let's anti-protest! (4, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012145)

I wonder how many of these people realized that a) TV is not a required appliance in the house and b) every TV has at LEAST an off button, usually the ability to change channels and often has mechanisms with which to restrict access to particular content (the "V chip").

In short, they should be looking closely after their own children instead of forcing their concept of propriety on others.

Re:Let's anti-protest! (2, Funny)

djtripp (468558) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012062)

I was thinking the same thing. When ever they air a show like "Desperate Housewives" (Never watched, don't care) I'll send them a message for airing the show. Same thing for South Park. And everything that the fanatical might find kinda offensive.... yes I will have no more life, might not even be able to watch TV because I am sending so many "Thank you notes",that I will have to hiring someone in India to watch TV for me.

Re:Let's anti-protest! (4, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012121)

Smut filled? Where have you been watching TV? TV in the US is far too prudish already for anything like that! Have you not watched TV in other countries?

Re:Let's anti-protest! (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012201)

Agreed... US tv shows are remarkably tame compared to the UK. Even late night broadcasts of shows or films seem to have every remotely adult-themed word or scene blanked out. I found it difficult to believe that so many people wanted further restrictions and censorship... but now, it seems, we find the truth.

Re:Let's anti-protest! (1)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012136)

How about Tom Lehrer? [wiw.org]

Re:Let's anti-protest! (1)

cetan (61150) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012138)

The same FCC that is siding with the media companies to institute broadcast flags that prevent you from recording what comes in over the airwaves?

yeah, real nice.


Try writing letters to the FCC telling them to stop stepping on the American public's throats.

Small group... (5, Funny)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 10 years ago | (#11011997)

This small group of complainers can then easily be taken out by a small group of assassins... There must be a reason this has not been done yet, but I cannot think of any.

Re:Small group... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012029)

here is [parentstv.org] their website, go forth slashdot ninjas and conquer.

Somebody's gotta do it. (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#11011998)

I, for one, welcome our new PTC overlords.

What the PTC has figured out is that indecent TV and radio was being allowed simply because the FCC only takes action when it gets a complaint from somebody in the public. No complaint, nobody was harmed so no foul.

The FCC is still in control over what is indecent, so the PTC's power is merely that of spotter. If they complain about something that isn't over the line nothing will happen. Of course, a big problem with the current system is that the FCC doesn't have a written down definition of what they consider to be indecent so broadcasters are flying blind when it comes to deciding what to air before they actually do it. What they've gotten away with in the past is no help because they've been allow to get away with far too much.

The megacompanies need to realize that they should use their cable outlets for the borderline content they have, because the over-the-air channels are regulated.

Re:Somebody's gotta do it. (2, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012053)

Have you seen the PTC website http://www.parentstv.org/ [parentstv.org] ?

EVERYTHING offends these people, their jobs is to get people upset so they will donate money to them so they do not have to get real jobs.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the fifth worst network TV show for families in this year's PTC's Top 10 Best and Worst Report, has licensed a line of toys for kids ages 8 and up. CSI features graphic scenes of blood, violence, and sex. Company Vice President and general manager of CBS Consumer Products, called it "the perfect addition to [a] successful licensing program."

Why is the PTC outraged that a highly-rated television show is creating a product for children? Because the CSI franchise often displays graphic images, including close-ups of corpses with gunshot wounds and other bloody injuries. Other graphic scenes have depicted cannibalism, a fully nude female corpse, and mutilated victims of a deranged killer. Sexual situations are extremely graphic. In the past, scenes included a brother and sister having sex, men receiving S&M beatings from a dominatrix in a sex club, pornographic snuff films, and a woman making a sex video for her 15-year-old stepson.

According to Broadcasting & Cable in a sweeps-season bid to boost ratings, CSI will enter what the CBS is describing as a fringe world of sex changes and transgenders. The show's 100th episode, which airs November 18 at 9/8 Central, is about a case of mistaken identity that begins with the murder of a transgender woman who's found brutally stabbed and mutilated. It will carry a parental advisory, "Due to adult content, viewer discretion is advised."

A CSI: Forensics Lab, which includes a microscope and fingerprinting kit, a CSI: DNA Laboratory and a CSI: Forensic Facial Reconstructive Kit (pictured above) is available now exclusively at Toys R Us. According to a CBS press release "the target age is 14 and up" but it clearly says "Ages 8 +" on the packaging.

The PTC doesn't think the recreation of blood, guts and gore should be under a child's Christmas tree this year. This so-called "toy" is a blatant attempt to market CSI and its adult-oriented content directly to children.

Re:Somebody's gotta do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012165)

You can either be a troll or satirical, but you can do neither when you contradict yourself when wearing either hat.

Specifically, paragraphs 1, 2, 7 contradict paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6. They both belong in different posts completely.

Re:Somebody's gotta do it. (1)

jdhutchins (559010) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012187)

They can sell the toy, but they're not forcing you to buy it. Don't want your kid to have the CSI toys? DON'T BUY IT! If you don't buy it, it won't be under your tree for Christmas!

Re:Somebody's gotta do it. (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012055)

The FCC defines indecency by saying that anything the general public would regard as indecent, is indecent. Therefore, if the FCC sees 10 million complaints about one particular thing, they must assume that that the general public sees that one thing as indecent, because such a large segment of the general public is complaining about it.

This sort of activism skews the standards the FCC uses to judge content, and makes the general public appear much more prudish, to the FCC, than they really are.

Re:Somebody's gotta do it. (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012066)

But the problem is they don't HAVE to get the FCC to do anything in order to be successful. If they complain to the FCC enough, a company may just voluntarily pull content because it wants to avoid another Howard Stern-esque debacle(in terms of both the fine and the PR problems). The squeaky wheel gets the grease it seems.....

Re:Somebody's gotta do it. (1)

sharlskdy (460886) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012100)

We really need to keep tabs on these special interest groups. Just because a small minority gets organized to maximize their effectiveness doesn't mean we should listen to them, change laws, remove items from public view, or pay any attention to them whatsoever.

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012003)

for once after all these years ?!

Sabrina... (1)

Gleeb (645116) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012005)

They better not be the people that meant I couldn't watch Sabrin the Teenage with a few years back :(

Re:Sabrina... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012152)

Can you bring your parents' association to Europe, I'm fed up with Sabrina and those countless reruns!!

second post! (-1, Offtopic)

ChrisPee (810133) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012006)

second post!

Re:second post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012040)

What you meant was, "I can't count!"

Watch sesame street, unless that gets censored too.

F the FCC... (5, Insightful)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012007)

It would be nice for the FCC to define what is indecent..

It really blows that 100 people can RUIN what millions watch...

Re:F the FCC... (2, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012087)

It blows more when one network executive decides what millions of people can't watch. {sniff} I miss Firefly.

Re:F the FCC... (1)

roche (135922) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012104)

100? It only took 23 people complaining about that Fox show Married in America for them to recieve a fine. I take this quote from the article...

"But when asked, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau said it could find only 90 complaints from 23 individuals.

Re:F the FCC... (1)

DrLZRDMN (728996) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012169)

Personaly don't think the government should be involved with my values. No thank you, I can take care of that myself. And I almost forgot: FUCK

What about Howard Stern (5, Interesting)

yorkpaddy (830859) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012008)

I know that Stern pushed for his listeners to complain about Oprah Winfrey (?). Oprah got away with saying things about vaginas and sexual practices that Stern was fined for

Re:What about Howard Stern (1)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012037)

Oprah had a guest who graphically defined a "salad toss" and she didn't get fined.

Re:What about Howard Stern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012073)

What's so graphic about throwing some lettuce?

Re:What about Howard Stern (0)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012079)

This is exactly where the problem of non-enforcement has brought us. Because Oprah gets away with it, Stern thinks he can do it too. However, in reality Oprah was just not caught because none of the complainers were looking at her show, and had somebody complained the stations airing her show would have gotten fined.

The problem is that the FCC doesn't have the resources to watch every channel all the time, and the PTC doesn't either so they just target programs where they expect to find something...

Re:What about Howard Stern (5, Interesting)

bani (467531) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012133)

the problem is that after stern brought the issue up, a LOT of people filed complaints about oprah, many orders of magnitude more than complained about stern. the fcc even admitted this!

and STILL oprah hasn't been fined. only stern has.

oprah is loved so she can break the rules however and whenever she likes, while stern is reviled and gets severely punished for the tiniest infraction.

Re:What about Howard Stern (1, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012096)

Context is everything. Now I don't know the contexts for those two incedents, but I can guess. Oprah was probably being discussed with a doctor about women's health issues or something like that. Stern was probably making dirty jokes instead of doing some kind of information piece like Oprah was (again, my conjecture, I don't know for sure). In that case that's perfectly fine. Now if they were both making leud jokes and one got fined and the other didn't, that would be unfair. But you just can't discuss some issues without using some of those works.

Reminds me of an episode of News Radio. Phil Hartman's character did an on air editorial about how another station shouldn't have run a show where they constantly and continuisly used words like "Penis" and how people shouldn't stand for that indecency, blah blah blah.

Later in the show he was forced to retract that on air because the show was talking to a doctor about Erectile Disfunction (or some such).

It all depends on the situation.

Re:What about Howard Stern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012123)

And I need the government to judge the "contexts" for my media consumption because...?

Re:What about Howard Stern (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012131)

I actually remember listening to the show he directly layed the tape of oprahs show and commented about why he got fined for older shows.

If you check his website as well I believe the shows transcripts are still there for review.

240,000? (5, Funny)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012009)

You mean all I have to do is write 240,000 complaints to the FCC and I can control what goes on television and radio? I can write a script to do that in about an hour.

Producers of the biased, left-wing Today show - fear me.


Re:240,000? (4, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012197)

Yeah, if it's anything like some of the spam I get via scripting:

# # #

Dear FCC,

I have been watching the program #program# recently, only to find that the show's contents have been inappropriate. The program constantly details #smut in a way that is harmful to potential children watching.

Here are some instances of #smut this show has demonstrated:

  • #item1#
  • #item2#
  • #item3#

As a parent, I am offended for this much #smut# being present on this program. Will someone please think of the children.

Thank you.

Click here to unsubscribe.

lentils chewables goto kerry fire hire boredom apathy happy

Too bad story doesn't have (5, Insightful)

AEton (654737) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012011)

a link [parentstv.org] to the eponymous Parents Television Council. (Click several times! It's fun!)

I love their motto - "because our children are watching". Paternalism at its finest - television viewers must be treated as children!

(Luckily we can't air, for instance, photographs of caskets of US troops - but that's because voters, not children, are watching.)

I certainly hope these nice fellows will submit an FCC complaint if any television network tries to air "The Passion of the Christ". So much sadomasochism! So little time!

Re:Too bad story doesn't have (5, Insightful)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012039)

I love their motto - "because our children are watching".

I think they should change their motto to:

Because we're not watching our children.

Re:Too bad story doesn't have (1)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012140)

Because we're not watching our children

Well of course not, who has the time when there's so much protesting to do, and so many things to get righteously indignant about?

Seriously, if these guys would engage in a little more of the stuff they hate to see on TV, maybe they'd have an easier time relaxing.

Re:Too bad story doesn't have (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012112)

These folks are wacko.

They say Everyone Loves Raymond is a "GREEN" show. Didn't they catch the episode featuring the enormous vagina sculpture?!

Re:Too bad story doesn't have (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012180)

On their front page, you can send a complaint to the FCC.

I sent a complaint that the PTC is trying to hijack the Amercian airwaves with their agenda, and that they send 99% of the complaints the FCC receives.

Imagine if the FCC received more complaints about the PTC than complaints about indecency?

TV Censorship & Parents (5, Insightful)

Talrias (705583) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012017)

I don't see the problem with censoring your own TV for your family, but censoring everyone else's just because you don't like what is on it? Is that acceptable?


Re:TV Censorship & Parents (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012135)

The reason for censorship over the broadcast media is because they broadcast their content unscrambled in an easy-to-access format. Therefore, there's not much parents can do to protect their kids from watching broadcast TV.

The V-Chip is a nice stopgap measure, but there are plenty of holes in that system. For example, the Super Bowl was classified as a sporting event and therefore didn't carry a V-Chip rating.

Re:TV Censorship & Parents (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012172)

To a prude, if it's not acceptable for you to watch, then it's not acceptable for anybody else to watch either. They're not saying, "I watched this and found it objectionable," they're saying, "I find it objectionable that other people are able to watch this." They're main goal is to stop other people from doing things they wouldn't do themselves.

Re:TV Censorship & Parents (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012194)

Why would you want to actually take control of what your kids watch? What are you a parent or something. Geez the nerve of some people!!!!!!! The problem is these type of people don't take responasability for thier own actions and also for the actions of thier children. Any takers on the trench coat mafia kids parents being members of this "group" I am taking bets on it.

Trust a corporation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012020)

to manage your complaints and you may soon miss out on things you enjoyed and didn't complain about.

Special interests kill.

Typical of Government Lobbying (2, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012023)

Why do you think interest groups are engaging in these kinds of actions?

Because other "interest groups" have recently proven that politicians will usually bow to your wishes if you bitch loud enough.

Re:Typical of Government Lobbying (1)

excaliber19 (750206) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012047)

I'd hate to see what would happen if /. would "organize" and write mass letters to congress. I can see the OSS zealots now...

Sidenote: Would that constitute as slashdotting the government? =)

Typical of Government [Interviewing] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012161)

" I'd hate to see what would happen if /. would "organize" and write mass letters to congress. I can see the OSS zealots now..."

Well, we can send the highest moderated "letters" over to them. Wait a couple weeks, and then post the results.

Re:Typical of Government Lobbying (1)

KrancHammer (416371) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012155)

Because other "interest groups" have recently proven that politicians will usually bow to your wishes if you bitch loud enough.

Recently? Yeah right. Like that hasn't been going on for decades.

Same as war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012025)

Small minority took this country to war. No surprise here. If I want to sensor my TV there is always a remote control. In the worst case there is a power plug.

Re:Same as war (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012094)

Too late, I saw Janet Jacksons tit before I could reach for the plug! Ohh make that mental image go away!!!

Typical (1)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012027)

Ha - they are busted now, and its good for the world to see that it *is* a small group of crackpots [my opinon].

But I think this would be typical to other areas in life (letters to the editor, complaining about service) - most people (me included) whinge and complain about things but never do anything about it.

It really is true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and actually doing something can get things changed [for better or worse]

Stupid parents... (5, Insightful)

excaliber19 (750206) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012028)

Why not just grow a spine and keep your brat kids from watching inappropriate material?

Re:Stupid parents... (1)

armyofone (594988) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012080)

Because then they wouldn't be brats, dummy.

Oh, wait...

Re:Stupid parents... (1)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012083)

But that would mean that the parents would have to actually BE a part of their children's life. That's just too much to ask. It's bad enough the parents had sex without a rubber, creating a child that they didn't want in the first place.. Because if they DID want the child, they would take a more active role in their childs life and WOULD stop their 'brat' from watching "inappropriate material".

Re:Stupid parents... (2, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012102)

"Why not just grow a spine and keep your brat kids from watching inappropriate material?"

Why not?

Because that is America; your 'brat kids' could well pull out a glock and pump some caps in yo ass.

Re:Stupid parents... (1)

Thats_Pipe (837838) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012146)

You have a point there. The FCC can only go so far until its to the point that it is the parent's responsibility to monitor their children's television activities. Kids can actually handle watching some of the more mature content out there as long as a parent is there to explain things to the kids. This PTC group is basically doing the job that most parents are neglecting to perform and sadly they become intrusive to the matters of other television users who would rather not hear their bitching.

Re:Stupid parents... (4, Insightful)

Snover (469130) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012148)

I have a better idea.
How about the parents watch the "inappropriate" material WITH their children and explain it to them during/afterward?
Oh, sorry, that would be real parenting. We don't want any of that. (Though actually, I'm not so sure that having children find out about things such as sex independently from their extremist religious parents is such a bad thing -- it's rather sad that so many people think that it is somehow immoral.)

Powell not qualified (5, Insightful)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012031)

How many other people here get the feeling that powell is not qualified for his position. Of all the times I have heard this man talk he has never been able to give a sufficient answer to the true nature of the problem with cencorship. I dont know about you but before I address congress I woudl make it my busines to know everything about the statistics I am about to present. Think about it. you have a exponential growth in complaints aren't you even curious about what group be it age range geographic area, etc that this is coming from. Especially with the US culture being as diverse as it is. I just can't help but think he is totally inept every time I see him.

Easy (2, Insightful)

Datasage (214357) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012038)

If there is something that you are offended by on TV, no one is making you watch it. If your concerned about your kids watching something you dont want them to, just rememeber who is the parent. I sure hope your not expecting the FCC to take care of your kids.

Market forces will dictate what programming exists on television. If people want to watch content with sex, then yes you will have that on TV. If you dont like that, start your own station.

99.8%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012042)

Cry wolf enough and you end up with Janet Jackson's tit. Way it goes.

slashdot = fark (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012043)

I know i'm hectically off topic, but slashdot seems to be a mirror of fark lately... /coward

Sounds good to me (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012044)

If we complained about every crap show on television perhaps we could get the whole lot switched off?

Re:Sounds good to me (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012177)

If we complained about every crap show on television perhaps we could get the whole lot switched off?

Sounds good to me. To all the people complaining about "censorship": it's television for God's sake. Censorship of television is about a zero on the list of my priorities. Non-political censorship of anything only rates as annoying.

They need to legalize pot and outlaw television.

so sad. (4, Interesting)

smcavoy (114157) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012048)

especially when you consider in Canada they broadcast (i.e. no cable needed) the sopranos (at 11pm). Heck even CityTv broadcasts softcore porn after 12.

Squekky Wheel Gets The Grease... (1)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012051)

As the title says. Loud minority groups are the most vocal, face it, they have to be.

It is a shame though that the FCC chairman did not realize 99.8% complaints were from one group.

dishonest politicians (1)

bani (467531) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012156)

oh, he knows it perfectly well all right.

Screw Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012054)

Spread the virus [opieandanthony.com]

Another Fringe Group (4, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012058)

They ought to charge them the administrative costs for investigating and processing each of these claims if they are found to be baseless. That should slow them down a bit.

Re:Another Fringe Group (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012158)

Now just to set the record straight, I agree with what the PTC is doing. Now onto my comment:

I don't support something like that. The problem is it would discourage normal people from filing a complaint. What's to keep the government from saying "that was OK" to everything to collect a little more revenue (I don't think they would, but some people would).

That said, if a group is found to be behind all the thousands and THOUSANDS of complaints that are found to be largely baseless (hypothetical here, for example if they set up a program to automatically call for action whenever the word "ass" was found in closed captioning, even if it refered to a donkey), then the FCC should simply sue the group wasting time and money and preventing them from doing their jobs.

Plus while taking $100 from people after submitting how-ever-many bogus report might slow things down some, taking $1,000,000 from the group organising it would slow things down faster. (IMHO)

At what point... (1)

trevdak (797540) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012061)

At what point does the FCC become a government-funded mouthpiece for the PTC? If one of the major reasons that the FCC takes action is because someone filed a complaint, and PTC is filing most of the complaints, then doesn't that basically make the FCC a somewhat filtered out PTC?

Also, whatever happened to those Howard Stern complaints again Oprah Winfrey's "Tossed Salad" comments?

political agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012067)

I'm just curious, what is the definition of a political agenda? That is, what makes an agenda political as opposed to ... um, well, perhaps there are no agendas other than political?

Fahrenheit 451 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012069)

Just like RAY BRADBURY's Fahrenheit 451.

[ Potentially offensive post deleted ] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012070)

[ The contents of this post have been censored by the FCC ]

"I wish we had that much power" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012078)

...said Lara Mahaney, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based group.

And I promise to fight so that you never will.

Throw away the TV (1)

derxob (835539) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012090)

Why can't kids go outside and play anymore? We wouldn't have to worry about censorship of television if these damn kids would get out from in front of the TV and stay active.

The PTC best/worst list of TV shows. (2, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012091)

Goto http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/ top10bestandworst/main.asp [parentstv.org] and look at their list of 10 worst shows and 10 best shows. For an org that hates mention of sex on tv, they still rate Every One loves Raymond a top 10 pick.

When emailed on this they refuse to respond.

They also hate Las Vegas because it has sexy women in it and Will and Grace because it has gay people in it.

They are about as far from main stream america as one can be.

Re:The PTC best/worst list of TV shows. (1)

bhv (178640) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012185)

Sex in the City is sure to be disappointed.

That's what the V-Chip is for! (1)

hpulley (587866) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012108)

Most sets or set-top boxes, Tivos, etc. have parental control built right in, often using a V-Chip [fcc.gov] . If you only want children's programming to work when you aren't there, just set it to limit [howstuffworks.com] that type of programming for them, then when they're in bed you unlock it for yourself. Still means things need to be rated properly (and news of all things, one of the worst things you can show children is often rated G) but it is better than sticking all of us with TreehouseTV [treehousetv.com] .

There is one other problem, commercials aren't V-Chip rated yet and while you'd think they'd make the commercials match the show, often there are innappropriate commercials around educational shows. Surprisingly, Discovery channel [discovery.com] is one of the worst culprits, at least Discovery Canada [discovery.ca] does. With simulcasting I'm not sure about the original signal.

Also 99% of those comments were the same (2, Informative)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012109)

I read that in one of the more famous recent indicidents where the FCC issued a big fine. I can't remember if it was the guy who said "fuck" at that award show or not. There were only 3 unique complaint letters out of tens of thousands. All but 2 were form letters from this group.

I think someone should start a form letter accusing Fox News of saying a bad word like "liberal" and we will just flood them with complaints till they get run out of business.

PTC has discovered technology (1)

russler (749464) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012116)

"The document listed tools developed by the PTC, including continual monitoring and archiving of broadcast network programs and "cutting-edge technology to make it easier for members to contact program sponsors, the FCC, or the networks directly with a simple click of the button."

It's no wonder if they have made it that easy for people to complain that the number of complaints has risen dramatically. And in the article it states that with such a drastic rise in the number of complaints, now over 99.9% of them are from the PTC.

It sounds like they are submitting the exact same complaint at the click of a button. FOX pointed out that on one show all but one complaint (or something like that) was exactly the same. And only one of the complaints actually mentioned that the person had seen the offensive show on the tv!

So basically these people have found a loophole to push their agenda. Either the rules to complain will change or tv is about to get a lot more boring.

The FCC must use internet-style poll-taking (1)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012118)

You know, just hit refresh on a voting poll that doesn't check for IP or needs a username ;) Though seriously, if there are going to be bulk complains the information regarding what organization is behind such things should be made publically available. The same thing with huge financial "donations" to politician election campaigns.

Long view (1)

Mumpsman (836490) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012120)

In the long run this tactic will not work, no matter how focused or well organized. Broadcasters will slowly migrate to pay mediums (cable, satellite radio) and which will eventually become free to those who opt-in to advertiser sponsored programming. Which brings us back to the current system.

Hollywood is churning out sex and violence because that is what the people want to see, not because they have some liberal agenda that these do-gooders are trying to save us from. Eventually the free market will sort this out.

Remember, this is about boobies and cussin', and in a capitalist society any man with a little bit of money in his pocket will always be able to get him some boobies and cussin'.

God bless America!

This is America. This makes me ashamed. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012124)

This is America. We are supposed to be an example of victimization to the world. We should have a varied landscape of whiners, a multicultural panoply of complainers petitioning the FCC. But we have just this one group. Shame on you America.

Keep in Mind (4, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012127)

A small-but-vocal minority got prohibition passed, too. This is nothing new.

If you don't want some vocal group imposing its religious values on you, I suppose you'll have to be just as vocal. Of course, prohibition was quite profitable for a lot of Americans...

The New FCC (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012134)

Dear Sir/Madam

This letter is in regard to your recent complaint to the FCC regarding whatever show you think your child should not be watching.

We would like to inform you, in response to your concern, a device will be installed in all television sets that will allow you to control the content. It is called the OFF button.

We would like to mention that this device has been shipping standard with all television sets since the beginning of TV. We apologize if this was not obvious enough for you.

If you should have any other concerns or complaints then, seriously, fuck you. Use the button.


I'm reading their website, and... (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012137)

The anything-goes gang is suggesting we live in a pretty hypocritical country if we can profess our desire for moral leadership and make our number-one smash on television the ABC smut soap "Desperate Housewives." When the red states profess a great concern for moral values and then embrace sleazy shows, that's hypocrisy, is it not?

No. It isn't. That's not hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is when you profess belief in the fact that an a group can make an intelligent decision, mention said group has decided for itself a second time, and then go on a rampage to try to change that second decision because you feel it conflicts with the group's best interests.

What, they're right the one time they vote and wrong every single time they choose to turn on the Television and watch a programme for an hour?

V-Chip? (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012139)

Where is the V-Chip in all this? I thought the V-Chip was supposed to handle a rating (TV-MA, etc), and block the show if the parents had the TV configured to do that. Are people not using it? How are kids watching these shows?

Credit where credit is due (4, Informative)

yelvington (8169) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012141)

Credit for this story ultimately should go to blogger Jeff Jarvis. [buzzmachine.com] Jarvis is a longtime journalist, former TV critic, and currently head of the internet division of a major U.S. media company. He filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the FCC's data and followed it up with a searing analysis [buzzmachine.com] .

Jarvis is a professional, but anyone can do this. Dig in and report. Many hands make for light work, and all that.

Children (5, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012144)

For the children.

Go on, say it.

For the children.

Anything you want changed, just claim that its for the children. There's a big percentage of adults in this country that have kids. Most of these people are die-hard parents.

Their own children can do no wrong, are perfect angels, etc. Its easy to see where you could get something changed if you said for the children, because if you didn't approve, you're automatically against the children.

We all know that anyone against children is a terrorist. Are you a terrorist?

That's the same kind of shit these people pull.

You gave them the power... (5, Insightful)

avronius (689343) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012147)

Rather than allowing you to retain responsibility for your own viewing habits, these people are slowly making the decisions for you.

To the PTC I say:
"If something offends, change the channel.
"If it is unsuitable for your children, change the channel.
"If you think that it might offend me, it is not your right to infringe upon mine."

The decision to watch or not watch should be left up to the audience, not determined by a 'morally questionable' group, and filtered for the safety of an unintended audience.

By morally questionable, I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with the PTC or it's members. However, having never met them, I cannot vouch for their ability to judge what should or should not be censored. Anyone who stands before me to tell me what my choices are allowed to be is questionable in this fashion.

This is a good thing (2, Insightful)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012160)

Hear me out.

I think what the FCC is doing to "censor" TV/radio is completely un-American.

(I put "censor" in quotes because they don't actually stop broadcasts from going out, they simply fine you if they later deem it was offensive -- a subtle difference, but a difference.)

But read this quote from the person at PTC:

Mahaney said the issue should not be the source of complaints, but whether programming violates federal law prohibiting the broadcast of indecent matter when children are likely to be watching. "Why does it matter how the complaints come?" Mahaney said. "If the networks haven't done anything illegal, if they haven't done anything indecent, why do they care what we say?"

She has a great point. The problem is not that PTC has sent in a billion complaints, but that the FCC exists and is actually in charge of fining companies who dare to broadcast things people tune in to.

Personally, I think the FCC should be inundated with bogus complaints. When they aired Saving Private Ryan recently, unedited, I was real tempted to send in a complaint about the movie just because I think the whole thing is ridiculous.

It is one thing if ABC says, we're going to show you Monday Night Football, and opens with an intro that might not be suitable for children, or CBS airs a half-time show that features an "accidental" nudie show to a wide audience, but other than that, as long as the networks are correctly classifying their broadcasts, I think they should air whatever people want to watch.

Spamed! (1)

Striker770S (825292) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012164)

kinda funny that the FCC was spamed by the PTC to get changes. I say we make a group called the PWA (pr0n watchers anonymous) and send in thousands of requests for more hardcore nudity on our televisions. Maybe thats how Europes so open...

A Quandary for Fox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#11012166)

It will be interesting to see how Fox flip-flops on this issue. They try to appeal to both groups - the Right-leaning "Think of the Children" groups with their news, all while serving up the standard "When Dogs Attack" style schlock during prime time.

I think in this case, they'll probably fight any possibility of fines, all while publically reporting on the "terrible decline in television standards from evil Liberal Hollywood".

Timely topic, IMHO.... (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012182)

I was just discussing the whole "censorship of mass media" issue with a co-worker yesterday.

I feel like we're witnessing a rebellion of sorts, where TV show hosts and producers, musicians, artists, and the like are all making concerted efforts to push the boundaries of what's "decent" in broadcasting.

Whether or not this prompts niche groups with agendas to file thousands of complaints, it sends out a signal that producers of media are tired of trying to comply with FCC regulations that haven't changed with the times.

For starters, I think the current generation, as a whole, is simply not as offended by or adverse to swearing/curse words. Many of us in the "20-something and 30-something" age groups and below have decided that "words are just words" and curse words are only as "bad" as the attention we choose to artifically draw to them.

Last time I listened to a modern rock music station, for example, I was surprised to hear words edited out of at least 5 songs within an hour or two's time. In at least 3 or 4 of these cases, I had never even noticed the singer was singing a "curse word" before, except they made it obvious by chopping it out of the middle of the music.

When your listening audience is perfectly fine with a singer saying the "F word" in the middle of a song, then why should the FCC prohibit it on the radio? As always, those who don't care for it can change the station or simply listen to their own music, instead of what's served up on the radio.

I'm of the opinion that federal regulation of the media is basically unnecessary and "un-American" when you get right down to it. The people who want "clean TV" for their kids or for themselves are a large demographic, so the free market will cater to them either way. (Why do you think we have 2 Disney Channels on cable/satellite, Nickelodeon and "Nick for Kids", etc. etc.?) If the local stations keep airing things that offend big segments of their viewers, they're the ones who will lose advertising revenue eventually....

But since my rather Libertarian views are in the vast minority, I'm sure we're going to be stuck with the FCC dictating what we can/can't see on TV or hear on the radio during certain hours... That's why I'd still say, ok - fine them for obvious stunts like the Janet Jackson/Superbowl fiasco. (That sort of thing is done knowing full-well there will be punishment for it later... But sometimes people just want the "negative publicity" enough to do it anyway.) But at the very least, reconsider the "1950-esque" standards for "decency" on the radio.

Those F*cking F*cks (0)

ballsanya (596519) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012183)

It's their f*ing fault I can't hear the word f*ck on my f*cking radio...

stopfcc.com (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 10 years ago | (#11012198)

for a while people kept telling me to go to http://stopfcc.com/ [stopfcc.com] ... I am curious what the slashdot opinion of this is. I mean are these guys legit? can online petitions really change anything? for whatever it's worth I signed... but it seems like a hopeless effort.
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