Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 6:04am
FCC TO ASK CONGRESS FOR VIOLENCE PARAMETERS
[SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter, AUTHOR: Brooks Boliek]
The FCC is preparing to ask Congress for a broad expansion of its authority to regulate the content of television programming, but it hopes to leave the thorny issue of defining the parameters of how much violence is too much to Congress, Commissioner Robert McDowell said Thursday. The FCC is expected to issue a report in the near future that asks Congress for the power to enforce curbs on violent content on broadcast TV in the same way it has the power to levy fines on TV and radio stations for airing what the commission deems to be indecent speech. Currently broadcasters are restricted from airing indecent material between 6 a.m.-10 p.m. The report contends that the agency could use a similar regime to regulate violent content. However, as he was questioned by reporters, McDowell sought to downplay the magnitude of the report and its First Amendment implications. "This particular report is a report on violence," he said. "It's not legislation, it's not an FCC order; we're not talking about a rule here. Overall, I think in the long run technology and competition will really solve this for parents. I think we're going to have technological solutions."
See also --
* FCC still interfering with freedom of speech
[Commentary] Take the agency's rulings on the F-word: If Tom Hanks uses the term in "Saving Private Ryan," it's OK, but if Cher does on an awards show, it's not. Today, most viewers no longer distinguish between cable and broadcast programs. So having different rules for each makes about as much sense as having different regulations for odd- and even-numbered channels. It's high time broadcasters were placed under America's original rule on how the government should regulate free expression: Don't.
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