Comments about ‘Nudity, profanity and broadcast TV: The future hangs in the balance right now’

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Published: Sunday, April 14 2013 7:45 p.m. MDT

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In 2001, the FCC put out a policy statement that it would no longer punish fleeting and isolated uses of expletives. But during the next few years, the FCC changed its stance, warning Fox over curse words uttered by Cher and Nicole Richie on awards shows and fining ABC for fleeting nudity on the drama NYPD Blue. The new toughness also came amid Janet Jackson's high-profile "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
Fox and ABC challenged the FCC's actions, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal vacated the regulatory agency's policy enforcement as "arbitrary and capricious." In 2009, the dispute went to the Supreme Court, which reversed the 2nd Circuit but failed to make a broad ruling on the First Amendment challenges brought by broadcasters. The dispute was sent back to the 2nd Circuit, which again found that the FCC was wrong.

Tooele, UT

My wife and I have a lot of friends who watch "Glee" and "How I Met Your Mother."

We watched a few episodes of each and neither show impressed us, so we don't watch them.

That's our choice.

Some of my co-workers are really big fans of the shows "Tru Blood" and "Breaking Bad." My wife and I figured any HBO program with the word "Blood" in the title isn't a show we'd care to watch, but we gave "Breaking Bad" a try. We didn't like it so we don't watch it.

That's our choice.

We decided to investigate a show called "Lark Rise to Candleford" which aired on the BBC from 2008-2011. WE LOVE IT! And while there's only 40 episodes, the show is amazing, so we watch it via KUED and Netflix.

That's our choice.

We also watch Downton Abbey and Psych.

Again, that's our choice.

I have no problem with having some FCC regulations, but ultimately, just like movies and books, my wife and I choose to be our own regulators. We're think we're smart enough to do so without too much help from the government.

Farmington, UT

For those complaining about the FCC monitoring and preventing indecency, and berating those who'd like the previous standard enforced, be aware that the airwaves belong to the citizens of this country. They are a public trust. The FCC's mandate is to maintain and protect the public airwaves so they serve the people. As a result, there are regulations that prevent individual stations the networks from boosting the volume during TV spots, or promoting a certain political candidate without providing equal time for the opponent. The previous decency standard served that public well in that it provided for a period of time in the evening when families could sit down together and watch TV and not have to worry about inappropriate material.

The FCC's guardianship of the public airwaves is no different that the BLM or Park Service regulating what can happen within the bounds of another public trust: public lands and waterways. If you really want the FCC to back away from decency, then I suppose you're OK to eliminate regulation of public land use, including mining, drilling, four-wheeling, pollution of streams and lakes, etc? Didn't think so.


Ours has become a Godless society.

Alexandria, VA

Do we digress as a society in our moral values or have those who have been entrusted with being the guardians of those values merely failed to do so. I am more inclined to think the latter - so - turn off the TV if you don't like what on and go take care of the poor, the sick and afflicted - like you were supposed to.

South Jordan, UT

We have basically given up expecting Network TV to edit out what we don't want to see. It'd be nice if standards didn't loosen up so much, but I think that ship has sailed.

We decided to turn on Comcast filters. Any show above PG requires entering a passcode. As a result the kids don't watch anything but channels like ESPN, Disney, History, Discovery without us present. We finally got Netflix on TV and they watch some kid shows there.

We're finding they spend more time reading, and also probably too much time on the computer. Still trying to figure out what we're ok with, and I expect that to be ongoing.

162 S Marble Canyon Dr., UT

There is an entire generation of kids watching TV unsupervised because their parents are working, or busy, or don't realize what their kids are watching. That is tragic, but it is still the truth. What do you want them watching, they aren't adults. I have followed the principle of 'Turn it off if you don't like it' and that has essentially led to . . . . I don't have a TV. There are plenty of places out there you can find adult level entertainment for free. Shouldn't there be at least one place that you can also find family friendly entertainment without having to buy expensive devices to block out most of the shows? And what happens when you miss one. STOP crying that you don't like people having morale standards. If you want to live someplace without morality and values that is your own business, but this is my home too.

Payson, UT

I DVR most shows, we rarely watch TV live. But if I don't skip all the commercials we see ads for shows during prime time that I would rather my child not see! You want swearing and nudity, get cable and pay for those channels. By dont relax broadcast standards! And yes, I was one of the 50,000 who filed an opinion,

Olympia, WA

Even more reason not to watch regular TV anymore, and to not bother with any kind of cable subscription. We haven't subscribed to cable TV for years. We get all our TV from internet sites (netflix, hulu, and also many sites which have old and newer TV shows available to watch for free). It's cheaper and better than cable TV. Having a Roku box allows us to easily get programs on the BYU channel, which are very worthwhile. If the TV networks want to continue to lower their standars to appeal to the lowest common denominator, then let's just cut the cord and stop patronizing them.

Farr West, Utah

"Don't watch if you don't want to see/hear it" doesn't work. You can be watching a g-rated TV show and an indecent ad will appear with no warning. We wouldn't allow food to be sold if it contained even small amounts of lethal poison. Indecency is poison to the mind (and soul). Go on the internet and check out the website "Fight the New Drug."

USS Enterprise, UT

To "ksampow" I think that you are on to something.

Isn't it ironic that the same people who want to legislate salt, sugar, and fat intake because of health concerns are the same that want to allow the FCC to relax its rules to allow more garbage on TV?

This reminds me of ancient Rome and their idea to entertain the people so that they will be passified and not realize that their nation was starving and crumbling around them.

Salt Lake City, UT

Broadcast TV broadcasts a great deal of garbage without profanity and nudity. However, I'm not sure why people assume television that includes profanity and nudity automatically translates into garbage. I'm often puzzled when people dismiss rated R movies without considering the actual content. A rated R movie can be far more uplifting and/or insightful than a PG rated movie devoid of profanity and nudity. I think people should be more upset with the quality of programming that currently exists, and not worry so much about shows that contain profanity and nudity. Obviously, you simply need to keep those shows away from young ones, but such is the case with programs that already exists, and such is also the case with the commercials that push sex and materialism.


Well let's see: there's radio and the internet, dvd's, tapes, books. I don't think we really need TV do we?

Even with 150 channels it's an expensive option with, too many times, nothing much worth watching. On the internet you can now even choose what products you are willing to see advertised, and with dvd's can completely avoid commercials. You can build a library of videos, educational and recreational, that will not offend your standards or be the usual inane and mind numbing stuff.

Even with TV you can opt to watch programming without commercial interruptions. That'a partly why I actually like much of the fare on Public TV, and you pay only what you can afford - or nothing at all, and they don't have to bow to public pressure and can broadcast classic drama, classic comedy, educational and cultural options. You can pick and choose from up to 30 or 40 channels "out of the air" nowadays - well in many areas you can.

Columbia, MO

I lived in Europe and ended up adopting the directive to turn off the tv. However, I like to watch tv and I like to watch tv with my eleven-year-old son sometimes. I'm glad that there are a few things in America that I can still watch with him. The warnings in the upper left-hand corner are worthless if the FCC is not going to enforce some standards to protect my rights and the rights of my son to not be exposed to indecency for temporary wardrobe malfunctions and temporary profanity.

Bluffdale, UT

"...the amount of obscenity now found in fiction, films and television is “realistic” only for some select groups, though, by being presented as normal, it is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people speak in the way the entertainment media tells them is normal.)" Andrew Sherrod

The media is TEACHING our kids what to accept as normal. Violence, sex, foul language, disrespect and "I want it NOW!" attitude. This issue is not going to be solved by: "just watch something different" The grass roots of this problem is about what it is doing to our society as a whole. And we ALL need to care about that.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

Please write the FCC! Use your own words rather than some boiler-plate message for you to sign your name to. 59,000+ comments is nowhere near enough to convince the FCC that we are serious about protecting our community standards.

If we can't return broadcasting standards back to decent levels innocent children will continue to suffer, both directly and indirectly as a result of the growing plague of porn addiction.

Orem, UT

@ApacheNaiche - Getting there! It's tough, because people want to hang onto irrational beliefs that have been holding back human progress for years. "Godless society"? Yes, please.

orem, UT

Zabivka - just curious about exactly where you would propose we humans should progress to that a belief in god has been keeping us all from?

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