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AFA Ramps Up Indecency Efforts - Broadcasting & Cable

AFA Ramps Up Indecency Efforts

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Saying that the FCC is encouraging viewers to contact the commission about indecent programming--and perhaps not wanting all the indecency complaints to appear to come from only one group--the American Family Association now has its own Web link to easy e-mail filing.

"You can file your complaint by clicking on the television graphic on the top left hand side of our website at www.afa.net, " said AFA founder Donald Wildmon in a letter to AFA members. "This form will be active 24/7 and will always be on the front page of www.afa.net."

AFA (formerly the National Federation for Decency) is also asking churches to put this note in their bulletins:

"TV viewers now have a quick and easy way to file a complaint with the FCC concerning obscene, indecent, and profane content on television and radio. Simply click the television graphic on the top left-hand side of the web site at www.afa.net. There is no charge, and filing your complaint takes only a few minutes."

If AFA is looking to ramp up its indecency complaints, watch out. We still remember when Wildmon included B&C as targets in a postcard campaign complaining about network TV programming. The mail--some 50,000-plus cards--came in canvas bags like the ones they heaped on the judge's desk in Miracle on 34th Street.

Some groups opposed to the FCC's stepped up indecency enforcement, including the network-backed TV Watch, suggest that the level of viewer disaffection with content has been inflated by Parents Television Council's easy, online e-mail form.

In the most recent FCC tally of complaints, in fact, a big jump in July was attributable entirely (99.9%) to PTC.

The FCC has been trying to simplify its complaint form, has created a new indecency enforcement section on its Web site, and has hired anti-indecency activist Penny Nance as a policy adviser.

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