Copps gives 'F' to FCC on indecency


Responding to calls by the Parents Television Council to toughen
indecency enforcement by the end of June, Federal Communications Commission
member Michael Copps said the agency deserves a grade of "F for the job it has
failed to do in enforcing the statutes that exist to curb indecency."

In a July 2 letter to PTC president Brent Bozell, Copps said his longstanding disappointment in what he sees as the
agency’s lax enforcement of indecency rules has been intensified by the lack of
action against Infinity Broadcasting Corp.’s Opie and Anthony radio show for the St. Patrick’s
Cathedral sex stunt and the failure to seek revocation of the company’s license
for WKRK-FM Detroit for a show in which callers described extreme and violent
sexual acts.

"We are at a real crossroads on this issue," Copps wrote to Bozell. "Your
efforts have been so critically important in making this a visible issue, and I
think there is a determination all cross America to do something now. That
includes enforcing the law with sufficient resources so that we don’t make a mockery
of the law."

Copps suggested that the definition of indecent programming be changed to
include graphic violence.

Last week, the PTC issued a press release optimistically predicting that the FCC
would step up its efforts to rein in indecent broadcasts, but commissioners’
offices contacted said nothing was in the works, although agency chairman Michael
Powell did recently support Senate legislation to raise fines levied for
indecency tenfold.

The lack of additional action prompted Bozell in his weekly column to call
on parents to lodge complaints about objectionable broadcasts on the FCC’s Web