The Parents Television Council has filed a Federal Communications Commission complaint over Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s use of a four-letter word after winning the Oct. 3 EA Sports 500 in Alabama.
Asked about the significance of his fifth win at the Talladega track, he said, “It don’t mean s__t right now.”
The race and his comments aired on NBC stations, which PTC says should be fined for failing to install a five-second delay of the live broadcast.
“NBC knows that NASCAR has a huge family audience,” says PTC President L. Brent Bozell. “After the fact, NBC announced they would be putting all future NASCAR race coverage on a five-second tape delay. But frankly, NBC should have taken this action long before the Earnhardt incident, especially given NBC’s past problems with indecent language during live broadcasts, including Bono’s utterance of the f-word during the 2003 Golden Globe Awards."
Because NBC failed to impose a five-second delay on the broadcast, PTC is asking the FCC to impose the $27,500 maximum fine permitted for a single infraction rather than the standard $7,000 penalty an indecency violation garners.
Bozell also calls incident one more indication of the need for legislation in Congress that would jack up indecency fines dramatically. “
Television networks need to get serious about halting the flow of indecent material over the broadcast airwaves,” he says, “but that won’t happen when the financial penalties can be absorbed as a reasonable cost of doing business.”