WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Jack Kingston (R/GA-1) voted today for The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 (BDEA), which will help curb offensive and inappropriate programming in households across America. BDEA allows the FCC to impose a fine up to $500,000 against broadcasters, entertainers or networks for every violation of "obscene, indecent or profane material."
"Families deserve the right to watch television together without the threat of 'wardrobe malfunctions' or other unsuitable images." Congressman Kingston stated. "It's time television and radio broadcasters realize they have a responsibility to the American people and that there are lines they must not cross."
Critics have questioned BDEA's impact on free speech however, the bill merely gives the FCC the ability to fully enforce existing standards - not change the current definitions of "obscenity", "indecency", or "profanity."
"Television and radio programming has been sliding down a sleazy slippery slope. I'm happy to vote for legislation that provides the FCC with tools to strengthen existing regulations, crack down on abusers and protect our families." Kingston said. "Even with this new legislation, I encourage parents to monitor their children's viewing - nothing seems to be "G" rated anymore."
"In an ideal world Hollywood would monitor its own industry with a voluntary rating system and sponsors would withhold advertising money from offensive programming. But, this legislation is a good start at cleaning up our airwaves."