PICKERING INTRODUCES INDECENCY LEGISLATION
Today, Congressman Chip Pickering (R-MS) along with Congressmen Jim Matheson (D-UT), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) introduced the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act that would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to recognize a single image or word as indecent.
"As the father of five sons, I have a vested interest in what broadcasters present over the public airwaves. We do not want our children to grow up with the mindset that certain behavior and language is ok," Pickering said. "I speak for our families in Mississippi, as well as across the country - we deserve a peace of mind when watching television with our family and expect a level of decency in our programming."
Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (HR 3559) requires the FCC to maintain a policy that a single word or image may be considered indecent in enforcing its regulations concerning the broadcast of indecent programming over the public airwaves. Last year, Congress passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 (HR 310) that strengthened the FCC's ability to enforce decency standards. This bill ensures that the enforcement can extend to a single offensive image or word.
"There is no reason to allow broadcast networks a free pass as long as not too much' profanity makes it on the airwaves. We passed legislation to keep profanity from the airwaves because parents do not want their children to see any profane images or hear any indecent language. Families should have a reasonable expectation to believe television broadcast over public airwaves will not contain indecent material, not even once," said Rep. Joseph Pitts.
"Families have had it with inappropriate scenes and language that shock and confuse their children. This legislation gives them the tools they need to help maintain the home environment families want and deserve," said Rep. Jim Matheson.
Pickering continued, "Values, character, and faith are the foundation of the American family. Not one of those principals is present in vulgarity or the indecency of an image, whether it is shown once or ten times. Through this legislation, we will end the discrepancy of how many times it takes to claim profane material inappropriate and enforceable by the FCC. We can continue to raise our children as respectable, responsible, and honorable individuals- who know right from wrong, and who know once is enough."
Similar language (S.1780) has been approved by the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this summer and awaits action on the Senate floor.