Wednesday, April 26, 2006

more from the amazing idiot boy:: kevin martin

Martin: More work needed on indecency
By Paul J. Gough

LAS VEGAS -- FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told broadcasters Tuesday morning that an industrywide effort to get parents to control their children's viewing isn't going to satisfy the commission's efforts on indecency.

A day earlier at the National Association of Broadcasters' annual convention here, NAB president David Fehr and former MPAA president Jack Valenti strongly backed a $300 million ad campaign that informs parents about the V-chip and other blocking technology, including program ratings, that exists on their TVs.

"I'm not sure that's the complete answer," said Martin, who spoke at a breakfast session before a decidedly cool audience at the Las Vegas Hilton. He said that FCC research found that as much as 40% of the nation's TV sets don't have V-chips or other blocking technology.

He pointed out other problems as well, including some programs that aren't rated including live sports programming like the Super Bowl. Martin said other initiatives would give consumers more choice, including allowing them to pick and pay for only the channels they want as well as family-tiers options.

Martin defended what Valenti on the same stage Monday called "fuzzy" rulings from the FCC on indecency issues saying that the FCC had in a batch last month attempted to clarify its rules. He referenced the precedent-setting case of FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (1978) over George Carlin's "seven dirty words" monologue.

"It's frightening, though, that the 'hippy dippy weatherman' is still making government policy," said Bruce Reese, an NAB official and president of Utah-based Barrington Broadcasting.
At a session later in the day, FCC commissioner Michael Copps said that the industry's efforts to educate parents was commendable but that more needed to be done. He said that instead of getting better, 70% of TV shows have sexual content, up from 56% a few years ago, and profanity on TV shows is up 95%.

"Things are not going in the right direction," he said. But he also said that the commission wasn't going to be the final judge, nor would Congress; Copps said that the arbiters of whether broadcast TV was indecent would be the public.

Fellow Democratic commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said broadcasters have "must-carry" rules and other advantages but they carry the responsibility to make sure that indecent programs aren't aired while children are watching.

"I don't think that's too much to ask," Adelstein said.

On another issue, Martin said that he was willing to revisit whether to require cable operators to carry broadcasters' multicast streams in the digital era. The FCC had voted 4-1 last year under former chairman Michael Powell against such regulations, with Copps and Adelstein against and Martin (then a commissioner) the only vote for the proposed rule.

When asked later in the day whether they would be willing to look at the multicasting issue again, Copps and Adelstein seemed to say that they would.

"Sometime in the future it might be apropos to look at that," Copps said. Adelstein agreed but wanted to make sure that public-interest rules applied.

Martin didn't have a lot of good news to spread to the NAB audience, which is also concerned about the encroachment of satellite radio into local markets plus the upcoming digital TV transition that could potentially shut out millions of viewers without DTV sets or converters and allow the cable companies to degrade broadcasters' signals or not make them available on analog cable.

He told the NAB that the FCC was likely to continue to restrict satellite radio's efforts to go local, believing that it was started as a national service and citing its restrictions in satellite radio's terrestrial repeaters. He said that the FCC was looking at the issues surrounding the digital TV transition.

god help us! fortunately, the administration is tending to that.

tags: bush + humor


Anonymous said...

this is a test for the putz that is katie schwartz.


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