U.S. Supreme Court To Consider Broadcast Decency Standards

Washington DC, Mar 19, 2008 (CNA).- In its first major broadcast indecency case in thirty years, the Supreme Court will consider whether radio and television channels can be punished for broadcasting “fleeting expletives”.

The government has banned “fleeting expletives,” one-time uses of indecent words like the “F-word” that can bring big fines. The case under consideration, FCC vs. Fox Television Stations, 07-582, was instigated by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2006 ruling that two broadcasts of the “Billboard …

Though the FCC levied no fines, Fox Broadcasting Co. and others appealed the decision. They claimed the agency had changed its enforcement policy without warning and argued the new ban was unconstitutional. A New York federal appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, agreed with the plaintiffs and threw out the ban. The FCC then appealed to the Supreme Court.


Decency is the foundation of the civil character. Decency in dress, in speech and in action.

The current national character is shaped, to some degree, by indecency. Indecent comedians on TV (George Carlin, Lewis Black), indecent dress and indecent behavior.

It is also a poor reflection on the national character. Imagine a foreign country wanting some examples of “our” national culture. What do we send them? American Pie on DVD? Britney’s latest concert? How about Georg Carlin using F— every 10 seconds or so?

That is why I watch so little TV and will never have satellite or cable.

God bless,

You dont get out of the country much do you? Compared to Western Europe, Japan, and many south American countries our television is sooooo decent.

All the more reason for the U.S. to maintain ITS standards.

These standards should only be applied to the basic channels. Premium channels should come with whatever the buyer wants to buy and not be controlled by the government. Anyone who doesn’t like the program simply doesn’t pay for the extra services. I grow increasingly weary of censorship from the right just as much as from the left.

The left only censors anything that contains references to Christian morality.

And I have already agreed I don’t accept that. But I don’t accept it from the right either. The best censorship is changing the channel. We don’t need a babysitting government.

Changing the channel is abandoning ship.

I’m afraid I can’t accept the cess-pit television has become, and like it or not, it is a primary influence on too many young people. The stakes are too high to throw them to the wolves, and frankly, it’s a cop-out to even consider such a thing.

That’s a me-first attitude, and with the world the way it is, we can’t afford this liberal-libertarian platform of ‘don’t interfere with my viewing pleasure and the heck with the rest of society.’

Then let the parents take control of their own children. But don’t deny us adults the right to watch what we want to. Censorship is scary from either direction.

Fine. Don’t watch tv. But if I’m paying for a premium service shouldn’t I have the right to buy what I want to without the government telling me otherwise? If I want to see American Pie and buy it later on DVD why shouldn’t I be permitted to? We can’t all just sit down and watch the Disney channel can we?

Why are people on a Catholic board defending indecency?

If you want questionable material, put on your raincoat and slink down to the red-light district to buy it.

I have moral objections to the constant stream of porn pumped into our homes, AND the constant re-definition of what constitutes indecency.

I am in favor of controls on broadcast tv but cable premium channels should be excluded. If people want to pay for these services, including indecency, they should have the right. It’s funny how conservatives are so much against government control but then want it in this area. I’m for less of it in all areas and letting individuals decide outside of direct violent crimes.

And I continue to disagree.

wait wait wait :smiley: Your name is Sailor Kenshin, which Im guessing is a combination of Sailor Moon and Rurouni Kenshin. Do you want those banned cause most people here would think that they are indecent. (Swearing, violence, nudity, nonchristian religion and support of immoral relationships, hint hint Sailor Neptune and Uranus are not cousins:p ) Or is it just what you think is indecent? Thats the major problem I have with censorship. It can turn against you in a second. I never have a problem changing a channel and most tvs have vchips or better, you want censorship, you can do it yourself.
I like my opera. I like my history, I like my religion and Yes I like my anime too. I just dont want the government telling me that they are indecent. Im sure you and many here will change your tune when they FCC bans religious programming because its indecent and/or causes hate crimes.

Bingo. Once you censor one thing it comes back at you eventually. I’m not defending indecency. I’m defending fewer government regulations.

Which is why we should all be libertarians.

And Holland is rife with drugs and prostitution, not to mention rampant STDs and a decaying faith in the Church. Your point again?

Moost countries’ societies are utter cesspools. No reason we should use their standard as our own unless we want to flush ourselves down the toilet as well.

It’s not all that strong an argument.

What do you think Bishop Fulton J. Sheen or Father John Corapi would say about the tidal wave of porn, filth and violence on television now?

No it isn’t, and isn’t worth arguing.

If a person can’t tell the diference between shows that have nudity and use the F word and a cartoon like Sailor Moon, I have no time for them.

And I have no time for censorship. Unless you want to ban some of the hate on Christian tv. Someone will bring that about eventually. So best be on your guard and control the tv individually rather than have the government do it for you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.