Concerned Women Slam TV Networks, Back FCC

Concerned Women for America (CWA) expressed ''strong dismay'' Tuesday at the multibillion-dollar broadcast industry’s ''latest attempt to abuse the public airwaves.''

Late last week, four TV broadcast networks – ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox – and their affiliates filed court challenges to a Mar. 15 Federal Communications Commission ruling that found several programs indecent because of language. CWA believes the lawsuits are frivolous and that the four major broadcasters want the courts to approve the indiscriminate use of words for excretory and explicit sexual conduct.

“All four broadcast networks last week announced their decision to continue their assault on the FCC's authority to regulate the airwaves against profanity and sexual content,” said Lanier Swann, CWA’s Director of Government Relations, in a released statement. “The action illustrates how out of touch television moguls are with American families."

In a rare joint statement last Friday the networks and affiliate groups, representing more than 800 individual stations, called the FCC ruling "unconstitutional and inconsistent with two decades of previous FCC decisions.”

"In filing these court appeals we are seeking to overturn the FCC decisions that the broadcast of fleeting, isolated — and in some cases unintentional — words rendered these programs indecent,” they stated.

The networks and stations said the FCC "overstepped its authority" and objected to the "growing government control over what viewers should and shouldn't see on television."

Swann, however, noted that 75 percent of Americans believe the FCC should have more ability to regulate our television content.

“The networks choose to ignore and abuse the millions of Americans who want the ability to turn on their televisions without fear that they and their children will be confronted with what the industry claims is merely ‘fleeting, isolated – and in some cases unintentional’ vulgarity and overt sexual conduct,” she stated. “This is a bold-faced attempt by the networks to have free reign to say they whatever they please.

Swann said the CWA fully supports the FCC Chairman’s “bold stand against the type of trash today's networks define as quality entertainment” and encourages the FCC to continue to hold networks accountable for the programming that violates federal decency regulations, and to enforce tougher indecency fines.