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Congressman Calls Out FCC on Broadcast Indecency Enforcement

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) put the FCC on notice that he was greatly displeased with the Commission’s enforcement against indecency on the broadcast airwaves. During consideration on the House Floor of the FCC’s funding legislation, Rep. Lankford criticized the “egregious” cases standard currently employed by the Commission, stating, “The end result was that the FCC unilaterally decided to leave complaints of incidents where TV content was offensive or inappropriate… uninvestigated and unenforced.”

NRB has also been vocal against the “egregious” standard and submitted comments in the FCC’s still-open proceeding on this subject over a year ago. At that time, NRB declared in a release, “Families with children need a media safe harbor. From the standpoint of protecting children, there are already many dangers permitted in broadcast programs and ads. It would be egregious for the FCC to lower its standards more.”

Rep. Lankford expressed similar thoughts this week: “Quite frankly, Mr. Chairman, it is difficult to even allow your children to watch commercials nowadays, much less the television during the children's viewing hour. This is simply a statement to say to the FCC that they should retain and continue the current enforcement they already have.”

Rep. Lankford previously ran an Oklahoma Christian youth camp, the largest youth camp in the nation, and he now serves as Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. Following his decisive Senate primary victory last month, Mr. Lankford will likely succeed current Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) in the U.S. Senate next year.

  • Read NRB’s Broadcast Indecency filing with the FCC, and its related press release.
  • Read NRB’s earlier filing with the Supreme Court on this subject.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 18, 2014

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