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Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., said during debate on the House floor Tuesday that the “so-called Broadcast Decency Act will have a chilling effect on free speech.”
Freedom of speech is at stake “and whether it will be nibbled to death by election-minded politicians and self-righteous pietists.”
Ackerman continued: “Even more galling is that this free-speech assault is coming from a mere fragment of the public, one organization – the Parents Television Council -representing the religious right and their far right-wing political agenda. This organization, which is responsible for 99.9 percent of the so-called indecency complaints filed with the FCC, boasts ‘nearly 1 million members.’
“True or not, while that may be a sizable number for an individual organization, when compared to the almost 300 million people currently living in the United States, it really amounts to a small handful of people – less than 1 percent,” he said. “Why should this tiny population of scolds be allowed to censure what the remaining 99.66 percent of us listen to?”
If the public doesn’t like what it hears or sees, it can change the station, he said. It’s their right to decide what is indecent, he said, not the right of members of Congress.