Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye left no doubt Monday about where he thinks the FCC should go. Straight to the Supreme Court, seconded by a high-profile TV watchdog group.
Reacting to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision throwing out the FCC's profanity findings against Fox, and calling into question its indecency policy altogether, Inouye (D-Hawaii) said it was "disappointing.
Calling it a divided court--it was a 2-1 decision--the Senator said: "I hope and expect that the Commission will move swiftly in appealing this case to the Supreme Court." Inouye supports a bill about to be introduced that would give the FCC the power to regulate violence as well as indecency, and has encouraged the industry to self-regulate.
Inouye has backed a bill, expected to be introduced any day by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that would extend the FCC's indecency definition to include violent content.
He was seconded by the Parents Television Council, whose members have been some of the most freqent and effective complainers about media content. “We believe the two judges on the Second Circuit Court are wrong," said PTC President Tim Winter, "and we urge the FCC to appeal this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. We also urge the public to speak up on this matter, contacting their congressional representatives and the White House too, and make their opinions known.”
"“As we predicted several months ago," said Winter, "a court in New York City has cleared the way for television networks to use the F-word and S-word in front of children at any time of the day. By a mere 2-1 margin, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has, in essence, stolen the airwaves from the public and handed ownership over to the broadcast industry."