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Broadcast Decency Enforcement

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, it has been less than a month since President Bush signed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act into law, and it is already working. By increasing fines tenfold, this law seeks to deter broadcasters from breaking indecency laws.

And yesterday, The Washington Post reported that this deterrent is working. Orders for electronic editing equipment used to filter on-air obscenities have spiked. Some radio stations are requiring their DJs to either clean up or pay fines out of their own pockets. Radio giant Clear Channel has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for their on-air personalities, allowing them to be fired for using offensive language.

Some claim this is creating a chilling effect on free expression. Mr. Speaker, this is not a chilling effect, it is enforcing the law. Decency standards have not changed, but the incentive for obeying them has changed significantly, and that is exactly what the President and this Congress intended when we passed this important legislation.

For the sake of parents and children across the Nation, I am glad to see this law having an impact on cleaning up the airwaves.

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