Jeremy Olson writes about children and families, and is an overscheduled father of two. His blog tackles the best and worst of parenting, families, health and love. He wants to hear from you - what's going on in your house?
The Minnesota Family Council might have exaggerated a touch in a mass email Tuesday with the following headline: "FCC set to drop ban on f-word, nudity on television and radio stations nationwide."
Yes, the Federal Communications Commission announced this month that it is re-examining its indecency policy for broadcast media in the wake of a September 2012 Supreme Court ruling. It is considering whether or not it should dole out penalties when isolated obscenities or unintended nudity (think Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction) hit the public airwaves. But it is not considering a hall pass for "Topless Survivor" or "The F-ing Big Bang Theory."
As a snopes article explains, the debate followed the High Court's ruling that the FCC was overreaching when it sanctioned FOX for unscripted obscenities that reached the airwaves during 2002 and 2003 broadcasts of the Billboard Music Awards shows. The FCC has since dropped numerous similar claims and turned its focus to the most "egregious" cases.
The policy review -- and the local MFC's warning about it -- have arrested the attention of Minnesota parents. There are, at the moment, 707 public comments posted on the FCC web site from Minnesotans on this issue. Many were submitted within the last 24 hours, and use wording recommending by the family council. Some are off-the-cuff reactions.
Most understand that the FCC is only considering relaxing standards on brief or unintended indecency. But they view such a change as the top of a slippery slope. Take the public comments of Diane Selz of Wyoming, Minn.:
"I am totally opposed to any new changes to the FCC indecency standards that allow any foul language or nudity on the airwaves of television or radio even if brief. It is bad enough that most movies in theaters are full of the stuff that I refuse to go to them. But I don't want my children or myself to even be temporarily exposed to any of this while flipping through the stations for something decent to watch. There's enough garbage on the airwaves already w/o opening up this can of worms."
Christy Holt of Coon Rapids said in her public comment that it is already tough enough to shield her kids from harm:
"I have four little children who I am trying to raise with some degree of shelter from the dangers that they will eventually face when they get older. I hold their hand when they cross the street, because they are not old enough to understand the danger of cars. I keep their fingers from the hot stove because they don't yet understand the severity of burns. I also strive to protect them from things that will damage their blissful, youthful ignorance, including expletives and nudity. They will certainly be exposed to these things as they get older, but as little children, age 6 and under, there is no reason for them to see these things now."
If you want your comments on the issue considered, use this link and enter proceeding #13.86 this month.