PTC Plans New Indecency Push - Broadcasting & Cable

PTC Plans New Indecency Push

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The Parents Television Council plans to blanket Washington with letters pushing for action on indecency.

It is lining up signatories for a letter to Senators asking them to a) vote for an indecency amendment Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is likely to introduce as part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill and b) not to load down that amendment with anything that could jeopardize its passage.

PTC had planned to send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) asking him to schedule Brownback's Senate indecency bill, introduced earlier, for a vote, but when it got word from Brownback's office that he was likely to introduce the amendment, they decided to switch gears. Word has it they will keep the Frist letter in their pocket and send it if Brownback decides not to proceed with his amendment.

A Brownback spokesman said Wednesday: "We have not introduced the amendment today as of yet.  The Senator is still saying he reserves the right to do so."

The reason for the PTC letter switch is that the Senate indecency bill became loaded down with other provisions, media ownership and violence chief among them, that have become poison pills.

House Telecommunications Subcommittee

Chairman

Fred Upton predicted as much when he passed his relatively clean version of the indecency bill, "clean" meaning that it essentially raised indecency fines and toughened penalties but avoided the controversial additions many in that body also wanted to include.

That is what the "clean" version of Brownback's original Senate version would have done, and what his amendment to the DOD bill would now do.

On another front, PTC plans to send a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell Thursday complaining that the FCC's indecency settlement with Clear Channel was merely a slap on the wrist.

The indecency LMO (like minded organization) crowd is somewhat split on the Clear Channel settlement. Some, like PTC, see it as far too lenient. At least one other major media decency watchdog has decided not to sign on to the Powell letter, seeing the settlement as progress and saying, according to a top executive, that it "isn't interested in revenge."

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