President Bush Urged To Appoint Anti-Indecency FCC Chairman
February 8, 2005
In a letter delivered to the White House, President Bush is being urged by more than thirty House Republicans to appoint a new FCC chairman who will take a tough stance on indecent material they feel is permeating the American airwaves. The letter began as collaboration between Pennsylvania's Joe Pitts and Mississippi's Charles Pickering and does not contain a single signature by a Democrat. Florida's Dave Weldon, Iowa's Steve King and Kansas' Jim Ryun are among the other signatures.
The full letter states, "With the resignation of FCC Chairman Michael Powell, there is a unique opportunity to fill this vacancy with someone who will remain strong on enforcement of current indecency standards. We would like to stress our belief in the need for a Chairman who will continue to uphold the laws passed by Congress and continue to crack down on patently offensive material on public airwaves."
"Congress and the Administration made great strides over the last four years, under your leadership, in enforcing our nation's obscenity, child pornography, and indecency laws. This material had bombarded our nation's airwaves and the Internet for much too long with little enforcement. While we acknowledge the importance of parental control over children's viewing habits, Hollywood and certain media companies work to ensure that children are exposed to it whether they or their parents like it or not. Yet, under pressure from the enforcement of these laws, they have finally acknowledged that when using the public airwaves, they are not immune from the law."
"Specifically within the last year, indecency fines have been enforced by your Administration, sending a clear signal that Americans will no longer stand for such images to invade their homes. While opponents believe that the enforcement of such standards is detrimental, Chairman Powell stated it best when he said, 'Berating citizens who believe in values and reasonable limits is insulting and polarizing and distracts from the legitimate issues of this policy debate.' It is important that these policy debates continue, and include concepts such as issuing fines based upon each utterance, enforcing the prohibition on 'profanity' over the airwaves, and emphasizing industry self-regulation."
"The FCC has been entrusted with promoting the public interest with respect to our public airwaves, and as such, should firmly enforce our federal decency laws, applying the plain meaning of the statute, and the Congressional intent behind the statute. The next FCC Chairman will oversee an important time in our nation's history, and they must be ready to aggressively enforce the laws that Congress has passed. We encourage you to nominate an individual of boldness, strength, and vision, who will continue the work already begun. We must not let immorality become normalized, nor federal laws ignored."
"Thank you for your continued leadership and we look forward to working with you on this important issue."